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The Russian Colony of Guadalupe 
Molokans in Mexico 



All rights to this book reserved. No part of 

this book may -be reproduced in any manner 

whatsoever without the express written 

permission of the author. 



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JZUNTA BAM da: 
RUSSIAN COLONY 

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Molokan Guadalupe Colony, 1905-1960 



by George Mohoff 




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Index to Other Molakan Households In Mexico (i 






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GEORGE MOHOFF 
AUTHOR 

EDITORIAL STAFF 



Jack P. Valov George Mohoff 

Managing Editor Photography Editor 

Sada Valov Joseph I. Mohoff 

Senior Editor Assistant Editor 



DEDICATION 



This book is dedicated to my parents Vasilie Ivanich and Ulasha 
Timofievna Mohoff who gave me the push to write about the Hfe in 
the Guadalupe Valley and who provided me with the love and peace to 
fulfill my dream. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 



The life of the Molokans in Mexico is treasured by those of us 
who were privileged to live in the Guadalupe Russian colony. Grate- 
fully, I acknowledge the assistance given to me in compiling data for 
this book by the many Molokans who furnished photographs, or in some 
way helped. As the saying goes, one picture is worth a thousand words. 

Special thanks must go to June D. Samarin who furnished at 
least one-third of the pictures of the village including the old farm 
equipment without which we could not have traced the antiquated 
machinery our ancestors used. 

Most of all my heartfelt thanks go to Jack P. Valov, my managing 
editor, of Atlantic Box Company for his patience, advice and contribu- 
tions to the book. 

My biggest thanks of all go to my wife Hazel who assisted and 
supported me all the way. 

A special thanks goes to Theresa Adam Muranaka, a graduate 
student in philosophy at the University of Arizona who shared with 
me her findings in her own research about the Molokans in Guadalupe. 

Also, to A.J. Conovaloff who worked with me on the drawing 
and graphics of the maps of the Guadalupe colony which without him 
would have been impossible. 

Let me thank Katherine Abakumoff, who encouraged me to ini- 
tiate this project back in 1973 with an interview with Basilio Mohoff 
recorded on tape. 

To Bill G. Tolmasoff and his brother John G. Tolmasoff of Ra- 
mona, California, who supplied me with the old documentation from 
Guadalupe that was kept by their parents. 



vi Acknowledgement 

Also, to Jack Dootoff for the documents that belonged to his 
grandfather, Pavil Novikoff. 

A warm thank you to the Mohoff family for their old documents 
of purchase and sale of the Guadalupe ranch and many other im- 
portant documents that helped trace information for the completion of 
the book. 

This book was made possible by the generous assistance of many 
contributors. 

Proceeds from this book will be donated to the assistance of the 
Molokan community. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



PREFACE ix 

1 . THE PROPHESY 1 

2. SEARCH FOR THE COLONY 5 

3. PURCHASE OF THE PROMISED LAND 9 

4. EXPANDING TO OTHER AREAS 18 

5. 1924 MIGRATION 30 

6. PAST OWNERS OF THE VALLEY 33 

7. TAXATION 38 

8. THE BUILDING OF THE COLONY 47 

9. DEPARTURE FROM MEXICO 60 

10. A TYPICAL HOME 64 

1 1 . WORK— A WAY OF LIFE 69 

12. FARM MANAGEMENT 75 

13. ECONOMY 83 

14. EQUIPMENT AND REPAIR— GUADALUPE STYLE 92 

15. WEATHER AND ITS EFFECTS 106 

16. BUSY AT HOME 111 

17. POPULAR DISHES 123 

18. VACATION AND RECREATION 125 

19. WEDDINGS AND MARRIAGE 139 

20. FUNERALS 145 

21. CROSSING THE BORDER 150 

22. SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION 154 

23. THE OPENING OF THE HALL OF RECORDS 160 

24. MANNER OF DRESS 162 

25. THE STARSHINA (PRESIDENT) 166 



viii The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

26. ROAD TO ENSENADA I73 

27. ENTREPRENEURS 178 

28. THE PARACHUTERS 132 

29. MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM J. MOHOFF 192 

30. CONCLUSION I95 

31. RETROSPECT 198 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 202 
REFERENCES 204 
APPENDIX A 206 
APPENDIX B 209 
APPENDIX C 218 
APPENDIX D 220 
APPENDIX E 223 



PREFACE 



The Molokan denomination originated in Russia during the 18th 
century when there was much rehgious unrest and numerous sects 
formed in protest against the rights and behefs of the Greek Orthodox 
church. 

In the Tambov province, about 1765, one newly established reli- 
gion was the Dukhobors, founded by Hilarion Pobirokhin. Pobirok- 
hin's son-in-law Simon Uklein, a learned student of the Bible, doubted 
and disagreed with much of the Dukhobor doctrine and soon left the 
sect. From his knowledge and beliefs rose the Molokan religion. 

Uklein traveled about Russia preaching and his evangelical 
teachings soon brought him many followers. He established numerous 
centers of Molokan teaching throughout Russia where he and his dis- 
ciples would present a written confession of the Molokan creed called 
"Ritual of the Spiritual Christians." The Greek Orthodox practition- 
ers referred to Uklein's followers as "Molokans," or milk drinkers, 
because the church members drank milk on the Orthodox days of fast. 

Russian Molokans came from diverse areas of the Union of So- 
viet Socialist Republics, or Russia. Some were from Kars, Turkey, 
others from Yerevan, Armenia, and some were from Georgia. People 
also came from Dubovka Ukraine near the Volgograd by the Volga 
River. Although from different areas, the Molokans remained united 
in their religious fervor. Unfortunately, the Orthodox church pre- 
vailed, religious freedom was unobtainable in Russia. The Molokans 
were forced to practice religious services secretly in their homes hid- 
den from the Czar's regime. 

Often Molokans were persecuted by the government. The Cos- 
sacks (Russian Army) plundered the Molokan villager's grain and 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Katsya Patapoff 

Vasilli G. Mohoff He served as palace guard in the Tsar's palace in St. Peters- 
burg. During this time, about 1902, many Molokans were forced to serve in the 
military. In 1904, when the Molokans began to migrate to America, arrangements 
were made for Mohoff At the right time he was tipped to run away from the his post. 
Following instructions, late one night he got home in time to change into civilian 
clothes and say goodbye to his family. He ran to the train that took him straight to the 
harbor where he boarded the ship to America. 

He left behind his wife, Nastiya S., and family with the understanding that 
they would join him in America very soon. The next morning Nastiya decided to burn 



Preface xi 

forced the young men into the mUitary. The older men of the village 
were beaten as an example to others that they should be obedient. 

This persecution led some of the Molokans to roam the Russian 
countryside and settle in areas of rural Central and Southern Russia, 
Transcaucasia, Persia and Turkey. Between 1900 and 1903, five men 
went to the U.S.A. to investigate the laws and means of religious 
freedom. Their favorable report inspired many of the Molokans to flee 
Russia and immigrate to the U.S.A. The majority settled in the Los 
Angeles area, while some went to Mexico. Still others went to Arizona 
or different areas of California. Those that left Los Angeles for Mexico 
sought a better environment for their children and an agricultural life 
not available in the city. Herein follows a historical review of the Rus- 
sian Molokans who first settled in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico pro- 
ducing a cultural landscape of striking individuality. 



the army uniform so as not to have evidence of his presence in the home. As she 
poked at the wood burning in the oven she looked out the window and saw that 
somebody was coming. Hurriedly, she tossed the uniform into the fire, just as the 
Tsar's soldiers came inside looking for her husband. They searched the entire house 
and never discovered the uniform. By that time, her husband's ship had already left 
harbor. 



CHAPTER ONE 



THE PROPHESY 



In 1855, a 12-year-old boy prophesied that the Molokan people 
should prepare to leave Russia or face great devastation. Forty-three 
years later it was revealed to the same prophet, then 52 years old, that 
the time to leave was now. Originally three elders, representing all the 
Molokan churches, were selected to survey Northern America — although 
little interest in migrating transpired. In later years, five men indepen- 
dently went to America and their return sparked great interest. 

In early 1904, about 40 people representing all the Molokan vil- 
lages gathered and listened as three of the five men gave their account 
of the journey to America. The men were Alex Agalsoff, Michael 
Agalsoff and Audrey Agalsoff. The group eagerly asked the men nu- 
merous questions about America and their findings. A positive report 
resulted in the general feeling that America was the place for Molokans 
to go. Following the conference, the Molokans held a prayer and fast. 

During the prayer the Holy Spirit came upon prophet Gregory I. 
Mohoff He took a clean towel from the wall and spread it on the table 
as though it were a road. There was silence in the church until he was 
moved again. He then made a banner out of a handkerchief, or towel, 
and began to run about the church as though he were being chased. 
He shouted, "Go, go, go to America, the moon should remain be- 
hind. We must go." 

Then, Nickolas I. Agalsoff was awakened in the Holy Spirit and 
he too stood up and moved the banner closer to the wall, as if to hide 
it. The prophets were questioned by the elders. An Armenian Molo- 
kan named Ivan Aruzman Ohanessian answered, "I shall explain 
what it means that the banner was hidden." He explained the move- 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Maryann Agalsoff Foster 

Winnipeg, 1900 

The second group coming from Russia to survey the land in America. Vasilli I. 
Halopoff (from left), Alexsay I. Agalsoff Nicholai N. Agalsoff and Andrey N. 
Agalsoff 

ment to America should be a secret one and not even the closest neigh- 
bors should be told. When they left they took with them only light 
luggage, leaving behind their property and most their belongings. 

On April 30, 1904, the first group of 30 people from the villages 
around Yerevan, Kars and Tiblisi (near the Caucaus mountains), led 
by Vasili G. Pivovaroff, departed from Russia. They left secretly at 
night as told by the Holy Spirit and boarded the ship at Port Batum of 
the Black Sea. From the Black Sea they traveled to Odessa, Ukraine, 
then on to Hamburg, Germany by train. Immigration routes taken by 
the Molokans ran not only through New York; Galveston, Texas; and 
San Francisco, but also Panama, Brazil and Port Veracruz, Mexico. 

Two standout leaders, Ivan G. Samarin and Phillip M. Shubin, 
remained in Russia to keep the remaining brethren united. But later, 
they too immigrated to the U.S. The total migration amounted to 
about 3,000 people, or 500 families, and lasted until 1911 with a sec- 



The Prophesy 





Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Gregory I. Mohoff (1861-1926) and wife Tania A. Mohoff (1863-1930). He was 
a prophet and a preacher In 1903, in Russia, the Molokan community sent him to 
St. Petersburg to ask the Czar for conscientious objector status for the Molokans. 
When he presented his documents in the palace, he was kicked by guards and de- 
tained at the police station for a period of time. In 1904, the Holy Spirit came upon 
him and he took a clean towel from the wall and spread it on the table as a road 
leading to America. He told the people we must Go, go go to America. 



RUSSIAN IMMIGRANTS 

. • TO CALIFOHNIA 



"San Diego Union" dated 
August 26, 1905, Page 1 

"RUSSIAN IMMIGRANTS 
TO CALIFORNIA 

San Francisco, Aug. 25. — On the Pa- 
cific Mail steamer Newport, arriving 
today from Panama, were forty-seven 
Russian immigrants bound for the 
colony of their countrymen near Los 
Angeles. Like other Russian immi- 
grants recently arriving, this party 
hails from the Black Sea province 
and came from Odessa by way of 
Marseilles and the isthmus of Panama. All hands were sent to the quarantine 
station at Angel Island for examination. On the way up from Panama a 10- 
year-old child died of bronchitis and was buried at sea." 



San Friuicihbt). Auif. 20. — On. the 

I'.i'iilc Mall »ieumer Newport, -arrlv- 

Im- today Trom PaimrriR, -w-cre forty"— 

Ki-Mii JiuK-sliin Inimlgrants boun4 .lor 

I he cDliiiiy of their countrymen nCar 

l.oH AiiEi-'lei. Llko Other Iiusfllun tm- 

nilprant.s reccn'tly arrlvlnj:, thlB "patty 

hallH from the Black Sea. province, 

ami came from Odessa by way of Mar- 

fi-lllcM and the Isthmus of Pana-rno, 

All, hnnJH were sent to the quarantine 

i r' t'lioi i nt ■\n^'fl l>ilnn.rt.'fnr pmmlna.. 

j iloii Oil thf way uv from Panama n 

j in-year-old chlUl died of bronchitis 

I ;unJ wjLt, burled ul otOi ... _, 



4 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

ond migration following in 1924. Eventually, the people that migrated 
were united in Southern California where the climate was similar to 
that of their native country. By 1904, a colony formed in the heart of 
Los Angeles and was dubbed "Russian Town." 

After a six month period, however, some of the church members 
became disenchanted with city life and felt Los Angeles was not a 
healthy environment to raise children in. In addition, the Molokans 
wanted land they could farm in their traditional manner. 



CHAPTER TWO 



SEARCH FOR THE COLONY 



When arriving in America, many discovered the hardships of 
hving in the city. Some wanted to find a place with enough land so 
they could sustain a colony. At this time a group went looking for a 
place in Mexico, others went searching Washington, Utah, New Mex- 
ico, Arizona, Colorado and Hawaii. 

Leader Ivan G. Samarin, aggressively pursued means of meeting 
the Molokan's desires to create a farm colony. He met with banker/ 
businessman and friend of the Molokans, Donald Barker. Samarin 
explained the Molokans wanted to work without government interfer- 
ence and together they discussed potential areas where an agricultural 
colony could be formed. The Molokans wanted to be secluded in order 
to practice their religion unrestricted and Barker suggested an area in 
Mexico that was removed from civilization — the Guadalupe Valley. 

Ironically, the Mexican government was searching for people to 
colonize Baja California and when this was discovered in the early part 
of 1905, two Russian Molokan delegates left Los Angeles to look at the 
agricultural land in Mexico. At the suggestion of Barker, Ivan G. 
Samarin and Vasilio Pivovaroff went to Rancho Guadalupe. After sur- 
veying the land and talking to Mexican authorities, the two men re- 
turned with a favorable report on their findings. 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 





Search for the Colony 



Ivan G. Samarin with his wife Aksenia P. Samarin. He was a leader in the community 
who came from Russia and first went to Los Angeles. He found out about Rancho 
Guadalupe and arranged to purchase the land. Although he never lived in Guada- 
lupe, he sent his oldest son, Alexsay I. to live there. 

Samarin at the request of the brotherhood in Russia went in 1899, with Phillip 
M. Shubin to the Canadian consulate to ask about immigration possibilities. They 
later visited Moscow to investigate Canadian laws on compulsory military service. In 
1900, he and Shubin visited St. Petersburg and petitioned the emperor to either free 
the Molokans from military service or grant them permission to migrate from Russia. 

In June of the same year, with Shubin and F. S. Buchneff, he departed for 
Canada on an inspection tour for land suitable for settlement. In the course of the 
journey they crossed the United States border and examined land in Wisconsin, near 
Milwaukee. In Canada, they visited numerous localities including Manitoba, Sas- 
katchewan and Alberta. Then, they proceeded to Ottawa. There they received a guar- 
antee from the Canadian government that would free the Molokans from military 
service for 99 years. They also received a land grant of 160 acres, per family. 

The men returned home and read the report on their journey to the Molokans. 
Immediately following, Samarin and Nicholas I. Agalsoff returned to St. Petersburg 
to learn the result of their petition which was repeated in 1901. The result of their 
insistence was the imprisonment of Samarin in a solitary cell of a Kars prison. After 
searching and questioning, he was soon joined by Shubin. A few months later they 
were released due to a petition by their sympathizers. 

In the autumn of 1904, Samarin left for America and arrived in Los Angeles in 
February 1905. After inspection of several plots of land with Vasilli G. Pivovaroff and 
Michael Slivkoff, they made arrangements for transportation for other Molokans to 
travel from New York to California. 

Samarin and Pivovaroff purchased, for the brotherhood, a plot of land in 
Guadalupe Mexico where Pivovaroff made his home. The task of helping the migrant 
was solely in Samarin's hands. He helped five groups travel through Argentinia and 
five travel through Panama. The Panama groups received transportation reduction of 
$15 per fare and the five groups going through Canada saved $12. Considerable help 
was given to the migrants at Galveston, Bremen and Liverpool. 

In March 1906, Samarin, on behalf of the Molokans traveled to Mexico City to 
receive guarantees of religious freedoms and suspension of custom duties for the Mol- 
okan colony at Guadalupe. He then carried protracted negotiations regarding land 
grants in Baja California, at Rosario, with Taras P. Tolmasoff and other Molokan 
representatives, and at Santa Rosa with Shubin, Ivan K. Mednikoff and many others. 

Samarin, having spent 75 years in blissfull marriage, sorrowfully bid his wife 
farewell on May 29, 1948. Exactly six months later, they were reunited on November 
29. They both passed on at the ripe age of 92. 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Vera A. Samaduroff Shubin, August 1905 Vasilli H. Pivovaroff and his 
wife Anushka I. Pivovaroff was the leader of the first group, of about 30 people, that 
left Russia May 1904. They traveled first to New York then to Los Angeles. He also 
went to Mexico with Ivan G. Samarin to survey the land in Guadalupe. Together with 
Samarin they arranged for the purchase of the land and his name is on the contract as 
a trustee. When the migration began, Pivovaroff brought 80 people with him to start 
the colony. Being one of the first to America and to Mexico without speaking a word 
of English or Spanish. 



CHAPTER THREE 



PURCHASE OF THE PROMISED LAND 



Once permission was obtained from the Mexican government to 
establish an agricuhural colony, representatives were sent to Todos 
Santos, now known as Ensenada, to purchase the land. The three men 
were Pivovaroff, Simon S. Babashoff and Vasilli T. Tolmasoff. The 
land was leased in November of 1905 and ultimately purchased from 
Donald Barker on Feb. 27, 1907. 



"San Diego Union" dated September 5, 1905, Page 7 



ATMJLDUPE 

Ranch of ^,13,000 Acres 
Was POrchase d For^"^-^ 
That Purpose 
Saturday 



Thr il.-.ii' V..1.H iImh.-i1 Siilunlay by 
wlili.'li llii- K.nnli'i cx-MlsMliiii fiUUilJi- 
Imu|ii-. ulilili (.oiiMlhiM of i;!,0()U ticros 



ill tli(! imrtli'Tn r"irl of Kowcr Cali- 
fornia \wi.s ('"■i.i to lot liu.vHluii Tam- 



llli-rt. ('. I'. It- 



iliiiijriii h;il c.-irrlnil on 



i i i'A^t/H.i ii u i iH T hr i.i )rr.'i....:.'i,. ilio i/i'Ui;- 

iTly, )iln wifi- ;i>sl.«Uri;; him hi tho pur- 
IxiMi.' (if fHliil)llMhl:;u' ;i lCUMfil;in aoltlo- 
mi'iiC. .Mr. I >'• lilumciillial pn-siniii 
Ihruiik'h .S!in J)lc>,") fn;m I.f«'i AliK'-lc.-* 
liiMt U""lt "II lil.-< \v a V tu ( ; ii.i.l.iiuijjM!. 
S('\'i-ral huii'lr -il' )i" ill ■ f ciMlc iiiul 
liorneM arc lii<lu<li'l In llj»; sulo. Tho 
laiul )h will wali-ird iiful lliiihcrfl nilJ 
Ki'vcr.il Hii.Hsliui f.i/Mlll»'H iilrc-atly liv- 
ing' Mil U llml It wi'll a(Ju|»t<-(l fur iiKi'l- 
culniri'. l-'.iriiiliik' anil .-^toclt rilHiiiK 

'.Vlll Ir.- th.' lilHt IMUMllU of Ihc l:UM- 

Miaiis V. lull- l.il'-r II lli)iiriiii; ^lill will 
!),■ I.ulll aiHl a Id'.vn laid oTlt. .N'eariy 
lull fanilli'-s ai>j «-.\l'<-cU:(l at the col- 
.iiiy .scon. 'J'h.- iiilf.'t' palil for Uhj lamJ 
Ih iiiuIi-i.:1(.i..| Id havo lifcll Well Up in 
(111- llnniMaiHlH. 



"RUSSIAN COLONY AT GUADALOUPE— A ranch of 13,000 
Acres Was Purchased For That Purpose Saturday 

The deal was closed Saturday by which the Rancho ex-Mission Guada- 
loupe, which consists of 13,000 acres in the northern part of Lower 



10 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

California was sold to 104 Russian families. C.R De Blumenthal car- 
ried on negotiations for purchasing the property, his wife assisting him 
in the purpose of establishing a Russian settlement. Mr. De Blumenthal 
passed through San Diego from Los Angeles last week on his way to 
Guadaloupe. 

Several hundred herd of cattle and horses are included in the sale. 
The land is well watered and timbered and several Russian families 
already living on it find it well adapted for agriculture. Farming and 
stock raising will be the first pursuit of the Russians while later a flour 
mill will be built and a town laid out. Nearly 100 families are expected 
at the colony soon. The price paid for the land is understood to have 
been well up in the thousands." 

To establish an import duty agreement, in March 1906, on be- 
half of his fellow Molokans, Ivan G. Samarin traveled to Mexico City 
and personally received the guarantees of religious freedom and sus- 
pension from custom duties for the Molokan Colony at Guadalupe. 
This agreement took place between Samarin, the Mexican Secretary 
of Public Works, and Mr. P.C. Blumental who represented the colo- 
nists. They were free from import tax. 

The following is an example of a later transaction: 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 

DUTY FREE #53 

List that Paul Novikoff, member of the Colony, C.P. Blumental, and 
Ivan Samarin present to the Colonization Agency of this port to the 
importation duty free of charges of the following items which he will 
bring through the Border Customs of Tijuana. 

3 boxes of used clothes 
1 hand sewing machine 
1 drawer chest, used 
1 tea maker, Russian system 

1 dining table 

2 steel beds with mattresses 

Ensenada, Baja California, May 13, 1909. 

Signing in my place Mr. Andy Mohoff, reason being I am unable to 

write. 

Signature 

The undersigned Colonization Agent in the North District of the Lower 
California certifies: That Paul Novikoff is a subscribed colonist and 
recognized in this Agency and therefore he has been authorized with 
today's date the importation duty free of charge, of the effects above 
listed. 



Purchase of the Promised Land 



11 



^^'/f?1f^ '^(2J<^- 



Ijiata :iue Pavel i^ovlltoiT, Jiiamoro di3 la Colonla "0. P. da BlUDsn- ' 

had u Ivan !5aiiarir., nre;3rta 4 la A^enola da Color.lzaoldn ■Ja'^.^a^a^ j 

Puerto , onjra la lan ortp-ii /r 11,^17-^ ^ila jiarao^ioa doloaL.ai^s^ttsniaair' '•i 

. dtllas do ^3anaJo -iuo trrvar& "orijja ■jAflunn^ ■irronterA.ga.,.^1* Tliuaaal'^' I 
■■■■'■-■ v-''-^^- -■•^:c.*/i."rtNf^.T;!w-I^,'*:V^-V/'^" V^^''..^ -'.^ 

3 troa Eaiilaa 30ntor.ler.do rooa uaada. . •.•• ., • . . '.»"^ J. . .. -^^ 

1 una adciaina de aanuorlo para loafcura. ,"'■'* . '"'....■ 

1 UT- Tooador, uaado. '_ . ■ ■'''•' " ■ "'■"' 

i ora Tetera, siate-Jia rabo, para haoer T4. " ."■.•. 

i una ^aaa T?xr. -tOMaclor. " ■■ ■> 

2 "os -j^.nas 'lo rierro c-r 30l'3Ji(5n. 

Zroenat'.'-., E. Cp.I. '■eo'o 13 da 1303. 

Flrma por sd. al ^r. Andral rorkhaTr, nor no aabarlo yo tasar 



T^^- 



"^ iyC^-^' l)^~ 



"■ *-& 



El BUBcrlto Agente da Colonlzacidn en al Distrlto iroi-te da la Baja Cal. 
CERTIilGA: que ._^/^c^,/;iwr^^^^ ee colono Inacrlto y reoo- 

jiocldo en esta Agenda, y an eaa vlrtud se le h» autorlzado con 

,■:. '\ 
'" fscha -de hoy la lmporta«;l6n, libra da derecho8,-.5iaplos efectos 

nue expresa la presents llsta.— 

Y para resguardo del Intersado Sexpldo el praeente en cumpllmlento da lo 

preceptuado en el artlculo S'^del Reglamento da loa articuloa 7 y 25 de la 

'£jey 4e 15 de Dlclembre da 188(5. ~~ 

Ensenada, Eaja Cal. Jiayo 13 -de 1909. 




0/(^^:7^/7^ /<^&^.^h. 




And as a convenience of the interested, this is issued in compliance with 
the fifth article of the rules of the articles 7 and 25 of the law of the 15th 
of December of 1883. 
Ensenada, Lower California, May 13, 1909 



12 The Russian Colony of Guadzilupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Jack Dootoff 

Mania V. and Mikhial P. Novikoff are some of the first settlers. 



The official organization that established the colony in Guada- 
lupe, Mexico was known as the Russian Colonizing Enterprise of Baja 
California, Cooperative Society Limited. The Enterprise was placed 
in force by contract between the Mexican secretary of public works, 
Ivan Samarin and De Blumenthal. The contract was published in the 
official daily newspaper "Diario Oficial of Mexico" No. 17, dated 
March 20, 1906. This action is equivalent to publishing a fictitious 
name in American papers. 

The land was a total of 13,000 acres, or about 20 square miles, 
and the price was $48,000. A down payment of $5,700 was made to 
Barker to be followed by an additional payment of $1,300 within 30 
days. One half the colony's produced crop was the annual payment 
toward the balance of $41,000. Within the text of the contract was 
included several hundred head of cattle with their calves and hundreds 
of horses. Also there were horse wagons with equipment, horse saddles 
and farm equipment including a steam-powered engine on wheels 
with a water tank, and an old unusable threshing machine. 

The colony's crop as annual payment for the land was delivered 
to the Pacifico Flour Mill Lower California Development Company 
Limited which acted as a collection agency for Barker. 



I • I 



Purchase of the Promised Land 13 

EL CIU1.ALANO LICEwCIADO /J-SJAKDRC LAI^ADRH) JR.,UELEGADO DEL REGISTRO 
Pl'PLICO DE U PRDPIED/vD Y UE COERCIO, DE E3TA >:UNICIPALIDAD DE ENSE 

H^-,riAuA, EGTAlC DE BAJA CAUFCaviA, CERTIFICA • 

(,, ,!.,.„: :,.':i^U-.=i^nue ba j o el ndmero (I76) Ciento setenca y seis a folios 185 al — 
1£S del Tomo VII de la iieccidn Primer a de Titu los Translativos de — 
Dominio, a los ^7 al 3 a el res de Agosto de 1907, se encuentra ins — 
crita el testiraonio oe la escritura de co lapra-venta, otorgada el dia 
20 de Julio proximo pasado, del que aparece que el senor Donald Bar- 
ker, vende en favor de la Compania daiomirada "Empre sa Rusa Coloniza 
dora de la Baja California" Sociedad Cooperativa Limitada, represen- 
tada porlos senures Basilio Pivovaroff, Basilio Tomasoff y Simeon— 
Babishoff, ael rancho uenominado "GiHdalupe" sito en 4sta Municipal! 

dad ae En;enaaa, Estado de Baja California, con superficie de 

5,266,88-00 HectSreas, el cual afecta la forra de un rectangulo, cu- 
yos lados mayores tienen 10,788.04 Metros, y los menores, 4,886.05 — 
Mer.ros, y colinda: Al Oeste, con "Huecos y Baldios" y por los demds- 
njmbos con terrenos pertenecientes a la Compania Mexicans de Terre — 
nos y ColonizacitJn Limitaoa, siendo el precio de la opera cidn la su- 
■if^ ma de Dlls /^, 000.00 (Cuarenta y ocho mil ddlares Moneda de los Esta. 
cios Unidos de America) .----------________ 

Y a solicitud del sefior BA3I1I0 J..-.K3J0FF, y previo el :,aEo del I.-:ouesto 

de Ley, Segdn Recibo Oficial Nur^rovi»^.^c/;? , se exp ide el presente 

certificodo, en la Ciudad de Enseraaa, Estado de Baja California, a — 
los veintisiete dias del mes de Enero de mil novecientos sesenta.-Dov - 




/ 



f^.- 




-■',.• ■' Lie .i.lejgjidro Lamadrid Jr. 



ENSENADA 



The approximate 13,000 acres purchased in the Valley was on 
title as the Russian Colony Enterprise Company. The land was sepa- 
rated into 85 parcels of 75 acres each and distributed amongst the 
people in an informal manner. The 75 acre parcels were in turn di- 
vided into five parcel lots of 15 acres each of varying land types. This 



14 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

>i^ <i^^ recibido de ^uM^ ^^^rM'^ 



^. la cantiba> be ^S^£^uu^^juJfJ^- 



i$v 



rcc c I tenia lV J^aJc^ /oa^t^A/^ 



•*-i?* u'tt.C// k/C 






ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 

We received from Paul Novikoff the amount of fifty one and 60/100 for 
the account of Donald Barker for ten sacks of wheat six hundred forty- 
five kilos of wheat at 8 cents per kilo or about $51.60. 

October 31/1912 
Pacific Flour Mill 
M.A. Hoberecler 



Purchase of the Promised Land 



15 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Pacifico Flour Mill, Ensenada 

The flour mill where the Molokans of Guadalupe made payments for the land 
of Rancho Guadalupe that they bought from Donald Barker in Feb. 20, 1907. 



16 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Il;cxbj.;r.or^ del Er. 'Gre^iur^n ral.-or -orf, .^ ir^ Zrr.orz^-^ 
rjd^n Colonizador=5 de la B^jn California, Soci3J.a_; i_o.-perat ^va 
L_TitaJa, 3n calldad de deo.jnit.0 y de a jerdo con 3I con-venio deJ' 
?pbr?ro t\j de 1907, la cant.idad de "5 107.57 cisnto -late necos 
cincuenta / siete csntavos , xltad del valor de oj secenta sa- 
co?^ da tri.i'o p-^sando en junto 3415 tres ~il cuatro cient-of: 

oumcs :cilos A razon de $ J, 06. 30 el Icilo entregador; al iIo-V^._ 

I *. 

Imo del Pacifico, ♦ [ . "' 

.1 



En'renada, B.C. Abril 22 de 1907 



"^ Lov/er C^J-pLfonw-a Developnien-t Co.' Ltd 




ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 

We received from Mr. Gregory Tolmasoff, of the Russian Colonization 
Enterprise of the Lower California Society Cooperative Limited, a de- 
posit, and in accordance with the agreement dated February 20, 1907, 
the amount of 107.57, one hundred seven dollars and 57/100, half of 
the value of sixty sacks of wheat weighing a total of 3,415, three thou- 
sand four hundred and fifteen kilos, at $0.06.30 a kilo delivered to the 
Pacifico Mill. 

Ensenada Baja Cahfornia, April 22, 1907 
Lower California Development Co. Ltd. 
Ted Palacios 



Purchase of the Promised Land 



17 




Courtesy of John and Bill Tolmasoff 

Hazel (front row), John, George, Julia (center row), Hania A., Vasilli G. , 
Mania, Fienia, Bill (third row) and Fred Tolmasoff 



further division of land ensured no single person ended up with soley 
good, or bad land. Each owner had five parcels. 300 acres was re- 
served for the village, school, church and homes with private gardens. 
Once established, the Molokan village was named Colonia Russa de 
Guadalupe, or Guadalupe Russian Colony. 



CHAPTER FOUR 



EXPANDING TO OTHER AREAS 



Neighboring the colony were many ranches for rent or lease, 
although some were 10 or 20 miles from the colony. These ranches 
included: 

Valle Seco 6,000 acres 

Vallecitos 6,000 acre 

Canyon Del Burro 2,000 acres 

Santa Clara 2,000 acres 

El Rincon 1,500 acres ^ 

Agua Escondido 1,000 acres 

San Jose 1,000 acres 

Also were the neighboring Rancho Barre with 8,000 acres, part of 
Ochoa Ranch with 8,000 acres and part of Rancho San Marcos with 
7,000 acres. Other surrounding ranches were El Tigre, Chichiba and 
Santa Rosa in addition to other small plots of land. 

In 1908, 10 Molokan families went about 10 miles south of Ense- 
nada to Punta Banda to purchase land from the Mexican government. 
However, the government wanted 100 families or more to settle the 
land so the deal did not go through. The Molokans instead leased the 
ranch for five years, paying cash every year. The land was also called 
La Mesa de San Carlos, Naranjo, Manadero. The Molokans wanted a 
large piece of land for agricultural and pastural purposes and they 
figured for every 100 acres of agricultural land, they needed 200 acres 
of pasture land for the animals. Those that settled, built adobe houses 
in La Mesa de San Carlos and dug wells for water. 



Expanding to Other Areas 19 



»»<<•»♦♦♦♦»»♦»»»*♦•»«♦<♦♦♦♦*♦»»♦»*♦»♦♦♦*♦♦♦♦< 



^ /A(y-^ , hnsenada, !Bnja C/a.,^^- rf< ..-r:i(/^/<<:^..C.<<^..'^.. de ?9,.'.fr..5 



3-1^ -j,;r- 



-■♦♦»»♦♦»»»»»»»♦♦♦♦»♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦»♦♦♦♦♦♦»»»♦♦♦♦♦»•»♦♦»♦♦♦»♦»»»♦»♦♦»»»»»♦♦♦♦»»♦****♦♦♦« 






I^Qj ° I la caniidad dt.f^/^^r^^./^^Co '^y/.^.^...C2g=z?S...r.: 




!®. c:3^- "^ The Mexican L:.rr^ .?.■ .^;^ _^ ♦ 



ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 

$100.50 Ensenada Baja California 

September 22, 1914 

Received from Mr. Paul Novikoff and Paul Kashirsky, the amount of 

one hundred pesos fifty cents in payment of $300 which is the rent for 

land in La Mesa de San Carlos from October 1, 1913 to October 1, 

1914 per agreement of March 27, 1914. 

No. 29 

The Mexican Land and Colonization 

E.E. Cotas 

$105.30 Ensenada Baja California 

September 24, 1914 

Received from Paul Novikoff the amount of one hundred five and thirty 

pesos in payment of $300 which is the rent for land in La Mesa de San 

Carlos from Oct. 1, 1913 to October 1, 1914 per agreement dated 

March 27, 1914. 

No. 30 

The Mexican Land and Colonization 

E.E. Cotas 



20 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



w ^* .n 't^^ !i/**jr V 




June D. Samarin, Arina K. Agalsoff, David I. Agalsoff (June's mother and father) 
and James A. Samarin. Samarin was born in Guadalupe and at 7 years old moved 
with his parents to Los Angeles. June Samarin was born in Los Angeles and her 
parents moved to San Antonio in 1910. She lived there until 1929. James and June 
married in 1933 



However, what they found was water over 140 degrees Fahren- 
heit. Hence, they would fill barrels of water and allow them to cool 
over night so the horses could drink. They lived there for about 5 
years, then some departed to Los Angeles, others went to San Antonio 
and still others settled in the Guadalupe Valley. 

Eight other famihes led by Ivan M. Kapsoff, in 1909, headed 
south of Guadalupe Valley to San Antonio. They intended to form one 
company and purchase 6,177 acres of land. The group came from Los 



Expanding to Other Areas 



21 




Courtesy of Andrey Samaduroff 

David S. Klistoff family, San Antonio 

Kathy (first row, from left), Tanya, twins David and John, Nick Klistoff, Maria 
J. Evdokimoff, Anna I. (second row), Maria P., Maria D., Tania D. Samaduroff, 
David S., Hazel D., Anastasia E., Simion D. (third row), Bill D., Nick I. Kotkoff, 
Moisei P. Samaduroff, Ivan Evdokimoff, Maria M. (fourth row), Nick D, Ana J., 
Alejandro D. and Andrey D. 



Angeles in 1908, rented land in Punta Banda for one year, then pur- 
chased the land in San Antonio. The land was made up of pasture, 
hills, canyons, oak trees and forest. Like the colony in Guadalupe, 
they built their homes on one side of the street close to each other with 
the back of the house facing the street. Esi Dolmatoff s family lived 
two miles north of San Antonio and never purchased the land, instead 
he leased the land for more than 40 years. The San Antonio group had 
their own church on Ivan Kapsoffs property where everybody at- 
tended regular services. The group traveled to Guadalupe for big 
events such as weddings, funerals, christenings and church holidays. 
David Klistoff, from San Antonio, leased part of the Ochoa Ranch 
located between Guadalupe and San Antonio for more than 20 years 
and paid 20 percent of his crop as rent. The Molokans from Guada- 
lupe lived in Rancho Ochoa, but only seasonally, then returned to 



22 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




...f^^-1"^^^^-;^^^' 






Photo 33 

Courtesy of Esther Klubnikin 

San Antonio 

Masha Agalsoff (front 
row, left to right), Fenya 
Bibayeff, Esther N. Agalsoff, 
Nick D. Agalsoff David N. 
Agalsoff, John N. Agalsoff 
Mike Kotkoff (back row, from 
left), Martha Kotkoff Nastia 
Popoff Vera Popoff Ganya 
Filatoff Arina K. Agalsoff 
Dunya Kotkoff David Filatoff 
Ivan M. Kapsoff David I. 
Agalsoff Ivan Kotkoff, 
Vasilli Popoff and Michael 
Agalsoff 





Courtesy of June Samarin 

Clipper plow 

Visitor James Samarin from Los Angeles in San Antonio. His father-in-law saw 
his visit as an opportunity to get some work out of him and had him plow and fertilize 
the garden. These walking plows were available in sizes 10, 12 and 14. The most 
popular was the 12-inch size. The Molokans used the two horse plows for gardening. 
Every family in Guadalupe owned one small plow, one small cultivator drafted by one 
horse and a single harrow also drafted by one horse. To farm their two or three acre 
gardens, the 12-inch model shown featured a quick detachable steel frog and adjusta- 
ble cast wheel. Most Molokans steered the team by tying the reins together and 
slipping them over their shoulder. This way both hands were free to handle the plow 
and steering was done by twisting the plow. Provo or levo were the terms used to 
signify a right or left turn. An experienced team only needed vocal commands to do 
the job. 



Expanding to Other Areas 



23 




Courtesy of Andrey Samaduroff 

Bill and Manya Klistoff were seen to push the car more then ride in it. Going 
up hill it was a little hard. But did they enjoy the ride down. Saving gas on the San 
Antonio hills. 




Sign located in Mogor border, Rancho Barre and Guadalupe between Guadalupe and 
San Antonio 



24 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Guadalupe. Other Molokan families leased farms outside San Antonio 
by El Tigre. Whenever, or wherever, there was arable land in the area, 
the Molokans attempted to rent it. This system usually pleased the 
Mexican landowners who would receive one-fifth of the crop's worth 
for payment. In the beginning, the Molokans appeared to be the only 
ones with this "land hunger" and had little problem renting as much 
land as they could cultivate. 







(/l^^^-^:^-^^-?-72_^ ^^^--i>-^->-7>^ '/<^^ -(y, 








In 1919, Michael M. Tolmasoff purchased 4,500 acres, compris- 
ing the San Marcos ranch, from a French man named Pu Lejous, the 
owner of Lejous Implement Company. On the land there was a large 
house, four water wells, farm equipment, 100 horses and 100 cows 
with their calves. The purchase price was US$15,000 and he put 
$5,000 down and paid the rest in annual payments for 10 years. 
Tolmasoff transferred the ranch into two names in addition to his own 
including his wife Dunia and his sons John and Jim. Soon after, Jim 
moved to Los Angeles, his son John and family moved into the house 
and his son Bill built a house just two miles north of his father's home 
in Toros Pintos. All of the children in the family went to school in 
Guadalupe, which was 12 miles away. Tolmasoff drove his horse and 
carriage to Guadalupe for Sunday service and never missed church. 
Tolmasoff first came to Guadalupe in 1911 and stayed only a short 
time. In 1912, he moved to La Mission where he leased a farm and 
worked until 1919 when he purchased this farm in San Marcos. 

In 1912, a group of 10 Molokan families from Los Angeles 
moved to La Mission to work the land, in 1912. They built adobe 



Expanding to Other Areas 



25 




Courtesy of Vasilli M. Tolmasoff 

Mikhial M. and wife Dunia Tolmasoff; Rancho San Marcos 



homes and leased the land at 20 percent of their crop as annual pay- 
ment. They remained there until 1920 then returned to Los Angeles. 
The life in La Mission was difficult compared to life in Guadalupe 
Valley. There was no water in the wells in the area and instead water 
had to be brought in barrels by horse and wagon from the local river. 
The road to Ensenada was unusable and instead they traveled from La 
Mission to Salinas by the coast then to Salsipuedes by the mountains 
and canyons to Sausal and eventually to Ensenada. In areas the in- 
cline was so steep they had to used an extra team of horses to pull a 
wagon over the hills — and come winter, this journey was impossible. 



26 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Preacher Alexsay M. Dalgoff studying the scriptures. 




^^^^ %.,.„, 



pitS""^ 




■^•..^■"'■^.-sA- 



Courtesy of Hazel Mohoff 

La Mission 

House built in 1920 by Vasilli S. and his son Jim V. Babeshoff Far to the right 
is the bania next to that is a grain storage house. 



Expanding to Other Areas 



27 



There was one family that survived the odds in La Mission, the 
family of Vasili S. Babeshoff and his son Timothy (Jim) V. Babeshoff. 
They built their home close to a water spring and built a storage tank 
for the water which was pumped by a windmill. In 1930, Timothy 
received his Mexican citizen papers and he homesteaded the land that 
he had been leasing for years. With his wife Julia, Jim had seven 
children, five girls and two boys. They all went to school in Guadalupe 
and sometimes they stayed with relatives in Ensenada, and schooled 
there as well. 




Courtesy of Hazel MoholT 

Parents of author George Mohoffs wife Hazel. Julia P., Jim V. Babeshoff; and 
Baby Mary La Mission 



28 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

In Ensenada, the children lived with a Molokan friend named 
Frank Bibayeff. Julia lost her husband Jim at the age of 30 when all 
her children were small and her father-in-law was too old to work the 
farm. She was a strong woman and did her best to survive. Along with 
her seven children, Julia took in her sister-in-law Dunia, after Vasilli 
S. Babeshoffs death. Dunia was mentally underdeveloped and lived 
with her for more than 20 years. Dunia was a quiet woman and 
worked to the best of her ability. Far from Guadalupe and relatives to 
help her, Julia struggled and somehow managed to still attend church 
holidays in Guadalupe. She drove her horse and wagon from La Mis- 
sion to the Guadalupe colony, some 30 miles away. With the help of 
her children, Julia worked the farm. Together they milked the cows 
and made cheese. They kept some cheese for themselves and sold sold 
the rest. In 1944, Julia and her children applied for immigration to the 
United States. All the children were successful, Julia was not. Because 
she was born in Russia, she had to wait five years until her eldest 
daughter received American citizenship, and claimed her. During her 
wait, Julia left the farm and lived with her niece Masha Samarin in 
Ensenada until the five years was complete. Dunia eventually went to 
Guadalupe and lived there with Vasili I. Mohoff and family. She lived 
with the Mohoffs from 1945 until 1963 when the family migrated to 
Vista, California. That year Maria Rogoff, a nurse, took Dunia to live 
with her. Presently, Maria and Dunia are cared for by Agafia, Maria's 
daughter. 



Expanding to Other Areas 



29 




Courtesy of Hazel Mohoff 

Ana Babeshoff and Mary Ledioff enjoy hiking in the mountains at La Mission. 
After a cooHng dip in the surplus water from the windmill pumping out of the fresh 
water spring. 



CHAPTER FIVE 



1924 MIGRATION 



One particular journey is indicative of what many immigrants 
experienced in their journey from the old country to the United States 
or Mexico. Egor F. Lisizin from Stanitsa Pavladolski Village near the 
Caspian Sea left Russia during the communist regime looking for 
religious freedom. Lisizin and his wife Eugenia Efimivna made a mu- 
tual decision that he must leave first and seek refuge in China. His 
family would come later. In 1924, he fled Russia to China — which was 
then a country for refugees seeking freedom. He fled through Siberia 
to Shanghi where he requested a certificate of transit to San Francisco 
from the the U.S. consulate. 

He arrived in San Francisco in March, 1924. That same year the 
U.S. Congress adopted a permanent quota law, or national origins 
provision. The quota was based on a percentage of foreign-born peo- 
ple residing in the United States in 1920. The act required that aliens 
seeking entrance into the United States must first obtain immigration 
visas from the consulate officer. 

In addition, Lisizin requested a transit visa to Mexico from the 
Mexican consolate. He traveled through El Paso, Texas, to Chihuahua, 
Mexico, where he continued his journey through Mexicali, Tecate 
then into Ensenada. By June, he finally arrived in Guadalupe and 
joined the colony of Molokan people. In Guadalupe he worked on the 
farms and the Molokans there helped him with the urgent, precious 
task of bringing the rest of his family and friends to Guadalupe. 
Through his work, the help of the church, and donations, he was able 
to send money to his wife and beloved family of five. 

Back in Russia, his wife worked on the legal papers to obtain 
passage for herself and her family and friends. Finally, they received 



1924 Migration 



31 




Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

Eugenia E. and Egor F. Lisizin 

their passports from the Soviet authorities in Moscow in February 
1925 as well as the Mexican visas from the Mexican consulate in 
Moscow. They took what they could carry and departed Russia in 
May, 1925. With the Lizisin family traveled the following: the Popoff 
family, Kotkoff family, Georgeoff family, Yaklovich family, Decywica 
Leekely, Badyori and Vera Filatoff— a total of 30 people. The group 
traveled through Latvia, Germany and Holland. They embarked on 
an American ship to Mexico stopping briefly in Spain and again in 
Havana, Cuba. They arrived in Vera Cruz, Mexico in June 1925. 

The group continued to Mexico City, then Mazatlan. Due to a 
lack of money, they stayed in Mazatlan for a few days. Additional 



32 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

funds came from the Guadalupe Molokans and they were soon able to 
continue their journey. They arrived in Ensenada in July 1925. Some 
settled in the Guadalupe colony and others in San Antonio, and a 
couple families a few years later moved to Ensenada where they 
opened family businesses such as gas stations. 



CHAPTER SIX 



PAST OWNERS OF THE VALLEY 



The land now belonging to the Russian colony of Guadalupe had 
many owners in its history with records dated back to 1834. Many of 
these changes were due to the disinterest of the federal government. A 
strong stand by the Federalis against the invasion and seizure of land 
would have prevented many undesirable changes. 

Molokan setdement of the Guadalupe Valley began in 1905 with 
the Russian colony. Prior to that, the Valley was inhabited by a few 
American Indians and Mexican Rancheros. Within the vicinity of the 
Guadalupe village lived diverse cultures including a group of about 10 
black families that lived on a 3,500 acre ranch north of the Valley 
called Santa Clara. On the ranch they built a six room hotel where 
many wealthy Americans stayed on vacation. Just east of Canada En- 
cinos there lived several Native American Indian families. One Indian 
orphan named Roberto Gonzales worked in the Russian colony pri- 
marily with the Afonin, Samaduroff and Mohoff families. His only 
relatives lived in El Cajon, California and once a year he would sneak 
across the border to spend time with his family. 

However, from 1905 to the present, the Valley has seen many 
changes . . . changes in settlement, inhabitants and agricultural activ- 
ities. 

The summary of land ownership titles is as follows: 

• 1834 — The property was measured and boundaries were marked off 
on the Guadalupe Mission Valley granting it 13,000 acres. The land 
later re-entered the womb of the national patrimony. 

• 1873 — The president approved and the land was auctioned off and 
awarded for 2,000 pesos to Senora Dona Prudencia Lopez de 



34 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Moreno, widow of Don Jose Matias Moreno (political chief of the 
region during the presidency of President Juarez) and to her heirs: 
Jose Matias Mateo and Dolores. 

• 1887 — The land was sold to Mexican nationalist Theron Flowers for 
$15,000 in gold. 

• 1899 — Flowers sold the property to William Dickney for $16,500 in 
gold. 

• 1907— Dickney sold the land to Donald Barker for $32,950 in gold, 



''■ -' 51, ciu^a^a:.c li..2::gi;.i:c ;.Lij;.i;:RC Lj^-.kD?.JD jr.,j3Lzg.-,do del f.egistro 
PCELico zz LA .^.c ~iel/.-.d y uZ 'ZCZr.zio, Dz z"rk n;::ic;?.^iiDAD i:e e;;se 

'HADA, Z3TAJC D3 3AJA CALIF": lA., CERTIFICA : — 

■■ '"'- ..'Ji 

.,^ ', '.,-■=■> 'ue ba; el n'.'nerc (176) Oiento setenta y 3eis a folios 185 al — 

CNSENAOA 

1S3 ael Tomo VII de la iieccitJn ."rL-nera de Tltulos Trar.slativos ce — 
Dorr-.inio, a los 27 a i s del .-res ae Agosto de 1907, se erxruentra ins — 
crita el t esti monio '•■e la escritura oe co mora -venta , otorrada el dia 
20 de Julio proximo pasado, del ciue aparece que el senor Donald Bar- 
ker, vende en favor de la ComDania denominada "Smpre sa Rusa Coloniza 
dora de la 3aja (California" Sociedad Cooperativa Limitada, represen- 
cada porlos sencres Basilio Pivovaroff, Basilio Toraasoff y Simeon-- 
Babishoff, ael ranch o .enominado "Guaaalupe" sito en 4sta "unicioali_ 

cad ae Snsenaaa, Sstaao ce 3a ja Calif or-^ia, con sucerficie de 

5,266-r88-00 HectSreas, el cual afecta la forma de ijn rectangulo, cu- 
yos lacos :Tiayores tienen 10,728.0/* Metros, y los menores, /j., 886. 05 — 
I'.e'ros, y colinaa: Al Oeste, con "Hue cos y Salaios" y oor lo.= aem^s- 
rumbos con terr^^nos oe rtenecien'^ es a la Compania Mexicsna de Terre-- 
nos y Colonizacidn Lip.i'a~a, siendo el orecio ■^e la oneracidn la su- 
' /(// rna oe Dlls LB ,0C0 .OC (Cuarenta y ocho mil dolares "oned.T de l.-s 3sr3_ 
yCjO' cos L'nido? ce America) .----------------------- 

Y a -olicit;jd del seiior 3,-jIl_C J.;-!0J0FF, y orevio <r 1 -^a'^oael I-: "uesto 

MS Ley, -eg'Jln Recibo Oficial I'r'.Trsro'^J'^^'^''^ , se er^c; ice el ireiente 

certific oao , en la Giucaa ce Cnfensaa, Estado de 3a ja California, a 

los veirxi-ie*:" dias ael mes ae Enero de mil ncveciento.= sesenta , -Do;- - 




:6 - 



/■^i^ 

Lic'TAle-jl^na ro Lamauria Jr. 



Past Owners of the Valley 



35 



• 1907 — Barker sold it to the "Russian Colonizing Enterprise of Baja 
California, S.C.L." for $48,000. The property was informally dis- 
tributed in five parcel lots to individual owners. Individual deeds 
were not issued. 

• 1947 — The possessors of the property, descendents or families of the 
original colonial associate of the Russian Colonizing Enterprise, filed 
suit in civil court against the aforementioned Enterprise in order to 
acquire by positive prescription the parcels or lots that each one of 
them had been occupying in the capacity of owner in Guadalupe. On 
July 26, 1947, the civil court judge in Ensenada pronounced a deci- 
sion favorable to the plaintiffs, declaring them sole owners of the 
parcels that had been occupied by them or their predecessors since 
1907, pertaining to what was the Guadalupe ranch, known since then 
as "Russian Colony of Guadalupe." Ownership was handed down 
from father to son, but rarely recorded. 



.iiL Cl'Sj i.^M' C LIC-!.CI.'. ^C .-. L ,J.- . _ .10 L..''ALF.iL JP. . , jZLZO, ZO j SL RZ IJT." 

rL;jL:co ^z u. ^zrzzi u " ^z cC';.:sr'::c, ::e la :•:!:- icitalidad dz Z:;..s- 

'^•■■- -'" NAD.^, 2oT. JO -2 3,*. Jr. C.L;rC?.:;iA, C Z R T IF I C A :- - - - - - - - 

ti I Eii ^: I .-••'lS2'l--.->ue bajo el nurero (175) Ciento seter.ta y c inco a folios IS/*, y - 

ENSENADA 

185 ael To.TXj 711 ae la oecciijn Primer a ae Titulos Tr- nslativos oe - 
Do-inic, a los 27 :: 13 s a el rr.es ae '.gosto de 1907, se ^jicu ent ra ins- 
crl to un contrato o t nf.-.cniQ de la escritura ae comora-venta lel- 
ranch o de ''Guacalupe" , otorraca per B.T.'.v'aters , en su '.-alidad ae -- 
apoderado del sen or .-'illiam Dickey y su esoosa, en favor del sen or- 
ZCriALD 3.^.1CR , teniendo dicho rancho una extensic5n de 5,266-.38-OC - 
Hect^raas, af ecta ndo la forma de un rectangulo, cuyos lados ^yores- 
tienen 10,888.04 Metros y los menores 4,366.05 Metros y colinca: Al 
Ceste, con Huecos y 3alaios y oor los ae.T.ds rumbos con terrenes de- 
la Co: panla Mexic ar.a de Terrenes y Colonizacidn Linitada , situsdo-- 
el rancho sus^aicho an ''Sta Municipalidad, si snao el orecio de la - 
op-:raci(5n la suma de Dlls 32,950.00 (Treinta y dos mil novecient os- 

cincuenta ddlares "one da ae los "Staaos I'nidos de America.).- - 

Y a solicitud del 3erior BAblllO J.."0J0FF, y pre'/io el pa go ^el I~.ouesto 
2.e -ey, seglin ^ecibo Oficial niimero ^»*^'>^*>'^ , se exaiae el presence cer 
-ificaoo, en la Ciudad de Znsaiaoa , Sstado de Baja California, a los — 
veir.ti iete alas del mes oe Enero de mil-rroveciento s sesenta.-Doy fS. — 

Lic.-".ie3 aridrcriraaaTrpid Jr. - 




36 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




ii ii FSGPltiAD ) CJMUCIC ^ue 'csjo el nu.TEro (3) ''•res a folios /t? vuelta al 51 ael To-no I - 

ENSENAOA 

;e la -iaccidn Prirr.er3 ae TItulos Translativos ae UcrLnio, a los 23 - 
ai;s de Febrero ae 1SS7, se encuen ra inscrito un titulo ae fecha — 
19 oe Znero ae 12?7, ael -ue aoarece que la senors Poer. ciana Lc5pez - 

de Mo;e.io y sus hijos Jos^ Ilariss Ma" eo '.'oreno y Dolor s Moreno, 

vender!, ;scen , ' enajer.an y tr: fioa'.an en favor eel ?enor '7hZ?£''" A ?LC- 
'ZR, el *er:eno e la ex-i;isic5n ae "Guaaalupe" si^uado en 4?ta Juris_ 
dicciin _e -^ste ?art;ido Jui-icia], con superficie ce tres r;itios de ~a_ 
nado T^ ycr , cTlin-jndo: Al "'orte c n baldion; al -^ui- , tamblen con bal_ 
oio3; al "onim-e oo n ''^'uecos y 3alc:ios" y =1 Criente , con balrios, 
I , asi CO -.0 us entmoas, salin's, /"abricas, usos, costu-^.hr-s y ?er"iduT^ 

bres y ■"■e-:'s coa.' i anexas ^ue ha "^inico y ti ene y le per-.anecen seeiin 
cer'^cro, 3?1 :ono -us s.ru; j=s, -.rn-es, oas*os y abre--.-a^ro? , =iendo- 
el or-i cio :e Is oo.^r 'i :!n 1' su -"E le 3 15,CCr.C0 {".uinre T.il •^'^ -os - 

solicirua ael ^ e:lor B'oIlIZ J..'!r-JOiF, y previo el -la.fo l; el I:-no'i?Bto 




^cibo Of'.cial "Or.ero <>'^»v3<i't^:?, s 



e e.xT) ic e 



' e nt e c er - 



:iii0i'GO ■ 
■/e' nt;i le • 



Ciuaca de ■^nsaiaca, Istado ae 3a ja California, a los 

s ael T.cH ce. ^n&ro de niil ,n-crT?>cientos "e -enta . -iJoy fS.-- 




Past Owners of the Valley 



37 



'>."'^^L ci';L;--;j:c iiyz-:z:.x .\lzj;::3rc L.'rj-.ZRid jn.,D:ii;a;.x dsl ~z.''1:—?c. 



. J.. — _n 



I F I C A :- - 



' • ■ "^r T "^ "^ ' .'A 
"<? ~-,^^' "^"^ ^ 

S[?^i?rft;ra '^,(^2 bajo el n-a.-TEro 16 a folios 20 vuel^a al 22 frente del Tono VI- 

ii I rLvJiO t CCMiiOC 

tNSENAOA :e la beccicSn Pririer". ae TIfj los Translativos j.e Do.T.inio, a los ^P — 

liiS ael me :i ae Jinio -^e 1S99, aoarece inccrito un testimonio ^e la - 

e:cr:'-tuia o>5blica de acjucicaclin otor^aca ante la 'ionaria ane:-:a al - 

Juz acio ae Primers Instancia de 4Eta Ciudad, el 2k ae Junio ae 1^°'^-,- 

jel -)ue aparece ue ^1 er.or Theron A. Flower, con el :or..-ent; i -ie-to - 

e ru es-:o-a, la je'.ora Silvia C.Flov.'er, aa^uuica en pa:-o ae la ~anti_ 

aad de 5 16,5CC.C0 (Diez y -eis ~il cuinien-os pesos t-bneda Mscicn?l) 

al ;er;or v.'ILLIA."-: DICI'~Y, reorerentsao oor el sef.or Litenciado Don ?e- 

aro Rend(5n, el rar.cho dencrr.inaco "Guscalupe", -ito en ^ = '6 Distrito,- 

con una suoerficie ae 5,266-33-CO Kect^roas y Is s 3i2-ui2T:p= cclin 

■-.-ue ias:--.l ?3niente,con el Rancho Huecos y Saldios y oor los -.er.^s — 

r'.;~'.bos con terrenos le Iz Comoania Mexicana ce T^rrenos y Coloni-s 

cidn Li.-nitaaa, con touos 3us usos , co stunbres y serviau mbre s.- - - — 

Y a solicituG ael oeiior 3.'--5III0 J.IXJOFF, y previo el oaeo ::el I.-pue sto - 

ae Ley, se^rOn ^ecibo Oficial ;!i5rBro^J»*J</«^? , se exn ic e el pr'=^sente certi- 

fic3ao en 1 a Ciudad ae Zniena.a, Estaao ae 3aja California, a los veinti- 

-iete u la s del me s de 3nero-' ae mil n oveciiin-so- sesenta.-Doy f $. - - - - — 





CHAPTER SEVEN 



TAXATION 



At the request of the members of the Russian colony, a suit was 
brought by Moses Nazaroff against the Enterprise to acquire positive 
control over the parcels that each of them occupied. As a result, the 
property of Guadalupe was not divided in the old world tradition of 
land belonging to the parish, but individuals were granted private 
ownership. The land became the property of 49 separate individuals 
(see appendix A). The Russian colonists contracted Engineers Juan 
Cervantes and R. Treirico to survey and number the land into 85 
individual parcels. Although no official deeds were drawn by the gov- 
ernment, they accepted payment of tax in this manner until 1947. The 
process concluded in 1959 when all colonists had acquired individual 
land ownership. The acquisition of titles stimulated further change in 
ownership patterns, as property transactions among individual own- 
ers, both Russian and non-Russian, began to take place. 

Under ownership of the Russian Colony Enterprise Company, 
the property tax was paid on the basis of a single owner for all the land 
with each parcel owner contributing an equal share. Tax was collected 
in this manner until 1938 when the method of collection changed. In 
1907, the first tax collector named was Alexei I. Samarin. He collected 
103.78 pesos, which was equal to American dollars at that time, from 
each land owner in the colony. This was a difficult task since many had 
a tough time paying their share. In such situations, the Molokan 
brethren would unite and pay for the family that did not have money. 
Until 1938 the colonists had stubbornly followed this method of tax 
collection and would not yield to pressure from the Mexican officials 
who wanted to tax them individually. The formation of Ejido El Por- 



Taxation 



39 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

The Moessi H. Nazaroff family. David (front row), Anna, Hazel, Gabriel, 
Mania P. (wife) (second row), Mosie H. (husband), Hania I. (mother), Masha H. and 
John Evdokimoff, Fenya Koretoff and Tanya Evdokimoff 




Courtesy of Vasilli Samaduroff 

Ivan P., Nastiya I., Vasilli, Moisey, and Alexsay Samaduroff are some of the 
first settlers, 1905. 



40 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




EL CIUDADANO LICEI^CI ADO JOSE PEREZ ZURITA, JUSZ DE PRILIERA - 
nrSTMCIA DEL PARTTDO Jl.T)ICIAL DS ENSST.'ADA, TEHRITORIO NORTE- 
DE LA 3AJA CALlFORIflA, JTrCARGADO DEL R2GISTR0 PUBLICO DE LA - 
PROPIEDAD Y DE COI.ERCIO POR MINIST^RIO DE LA LEY, G E R T I - 

Que bajo el mlbero(82), del Tomo VIII de la SeccliJn — 

Cuarta de -^entencias, obra una inscripcifin que a la letra 

dice I 

"Al margem Niiaero 82. -Al ce^troj- Niixnero ochenta y- 
do3. .En la ^•iudad de finsenada, Territorlo Ncjrte de - 
la ^aja ^allfomla, a los onp<^dias del mea de Agos- 
to da mil novecientos cuarent* y 3iete , el suscrito- 
Reg^st^ado^, Licenciado Jos^P^rez "urita previo el - 
\ pago del Imouesto da ley'aegJ" recibo ofioial ndmero- 

-1 (sin nJmero) procedit^'a inseisibir una copia certifi — > 

■^ • ■ ' // \ 

cada que en lo conducep'te dice;- "Al margen un aello- 

/' 
que dice i-Estados Unldoa Mexican os —Juzgado de la. - 

Instancia.-E"Senada, B .C- Timbrea por valor en jun- 

/' 
.^ to de un peso diez centavbs, cancelados debidamente.- 

"AI centre I- El Ciudadana Alejandro Lamadrid, Secre — 
_^"_,tario Interino del Ranio Civil del Juzgado de Primera- 
TT^'^y- Instancia dal Partidof Judicial de Ensanada, Tarrito — 
rio Norta de'la 3aji '-alif omia, Certif icai- Que en - 
al Juicio ordinar/o civil aobre adqulsicidn por prea— 
crlDcidn dai antiguo ranch o danoainado "Guadalupe" de 
^sta Delegaclda( promovldo por el sefior Uofs^ Nazaroff 
y ooeloS) en coitra de la Eiiq>resa RuaaOslonlzadora, - 
Soci«dJidQ:operativa Llxaitada, ae dict(S una sentencla- 
que a la ietra dicei-^Ensenada, B aja California, a — 
vei"ti8ei8 da Julio da mil novecientos cuaranta y sie- 
ta.- Vlstoa para raaolvar loa autos del Juicio ordina- 
rlo civil promovldos por Alejandro Samaduroff , Moiada 
Samaduroff, Uoisda Samarln, Basilic Samaduroff, Juan — 
Samarin, Alejandro Kachiriakl, Moisrfs J. Ibgoff y Rico- 
Ids Kazaroff, maxicanoa por naclmiento, Jim Bablchoff, 

Basilic Bukarcff, Miguel UichUfoff, Pablo Kac/iirislci,- 
in.i eJri- • r 

Ale.iandro U. Dalgoff , Uoia4a ^iamaduroff , Juan Samadu — 




Taxation 41 

roff, Alejandro K. Samarln, EJntliano AbaJcumoff, JUan- 
K. Samarln, Suaana Potschecayoff, Agafla KLlloff da - 
Bibayoff y Catallna K. Vda.de Afonin, maxlcanoa por - 
natuTalizaclto y Satala U.da Samarln, Juan B. Rogoff, 
Baalllo B. 'Bukroff, Uarfa P. da logoff, Agafla P. da - 
Bablchoff, Molae'a Nazaroff, Al ej andro A. Dalgoff, Basi- 
llo b\ Rogoff, Pablo Bablchoff, Agafla P.de Bibayeff, 
Gregorlo Samarln U., Basilic J, Mojoff , .Nelle da Ro- 
goff, Juan Samarln P., Baalllo U. Bukroff ,JUan Plvo- 
varoff , Alejandro Plvovaroff y Uarfa S. da Mlctiikoff- 

:'1T , r- iprr'Viii'- or. r<i- IX" ■• ■ '■ ."-1 

da naclonalldad rusa, contra l&-< "Empresa Ruaa Colonl— 

zadora, 33Cladad Coooeratlta Limitada^iy**. ••••••••»•• 

Ji; n- "; 10. ■'. '. I T > '•■V ■■;.;' ^ 

Por tpdo lo esqjuasto, con fundamanto an la diapoaicl&i 
legal cltada mia en loa artfculos 1135) 1138» 1152» - 
fracci(5n I, 1156, 1157 y 1176 del C<<digo Civil, mis- 
en los artfcuioa l/o., 2, 8l, 82, 139» 122, 411, ^^f. ,^ ,. 
419, *20, 425, 431, 637, 639 y 644 del Grfdlgo da Pro— 'J'^ 
cedimlantos Clvllaa, se rasualvet- FRIM£ROi- La parte- J 
_ actor»_ en_4ate juclo jrob4_su accl&i y la parte da man-- " 
dada no opuso excepcicmes.- SEGUlIDOi- Se dadara a l«e^^^ 
aefior«». Alejandro Samaduroff, Uolsrfa **amaduroff. Molars [ 
Samarln, JUan Samarln, Baalllo Samaduroff. Alejandro — . 
Kachlrlskl, Uols^a J. Eogoff , Nicolas NazaroCf, Jim Ba- 
blchoff, Basil io Bukai*off , Ulguel Ulcblkoff , Pablo Ka — — .- 

chlriakl, Alejandro U.Dalgoff, Uolsda i>amaduroff, 

^flian Samaduroff, Alejandro K. Samarln, ii^iilllano Abaku — 
moff, JUan K. Samarln, Suaana Potschecayoff, Agafla Kll- 
loff da Bibayoff, Catallna K.Vluda da Afonin, ^ stela — 
U.da Samarln, Baalllo B. Eikroff ,- Uarfa P.de Rogoff, - 
Agafla P. da B*Blehoff, Uols^s Nazaroff , Alejandro A. — 
DalgofT, Baalllo B. Rogoff, Pablo Bablchoff, Agafla P.- 
de Bibayeff, Gregorlo Samarln M., Baalllo J. Uojoff, — 
Nella de Rogoff, JUan Samarln p., Baalllo U. Bukroff, - 
Juan Plvcvaroff , Alejandro Plvovaroff y Uarla S.da Ml~ 
chlkoff, propietarloa por preacripcldn da las parcelaa- 
qu« han venldo ocupando por al por sua ascendientea 
desde el aflo de mil novecientos slete pertenecientea a 



42 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 







lo que fu«ra al r»acho da "Guadalupe " y oonocldoa dasda — 
entonces como Colonla Buaa da "Quadalupa" mlafflas parcelas— 
especlf icadaa an «1 piano da fojaa aala da ^ate cuaderno — 
principal, a inacrltas a nombre da la "Empraaa Ruaa Coloni- 
zadora, Sociadad Coo^eratlva ULmitada" an al Hagiatro PiT— 

blico da la Propledad.-TERCEHOi- Publfquensa loa puntos 

raaolutlvoa da 4sta santancla doa'^^caa da tree en tres 

dfaa an al parliJdlco d HeraleTo, de I^a Cludad de Tijuana.- 
CUARIOi- an aa oportunldad/inscrlUaaa aopia cartlficada de- 



^ata aentancla en el Bagl^tro 



Ccp da la Propiadad para- 



qua pueda sarvir da-tltal6~Iafi(itimo de los actorea en rfste- 

Juiclo.-QUHn'Oi- K*^tiffqueae.-/6f, Ao aentancid y firm(5 el- 

C.Llcehciado Joa^ P«rez Zurita, Juaz da Primera Inatancia - 

da 43 te Partido Judicial.- Doy £e.- Una firna ileglble. 

^klf -Alejandro Lamadrid.- Rdbrica''.yEs copia fiel da au original 
■.-.• -fl^^": \ '■■\ / 

iJi^^Ls,] ;■ a^ aa eaqjida en virtud da nsjidato judicial, a aoiicitud — 

£3eK»Eiii' viUl sefior Uoia^s Nazaroff, rApresentante comiln da loe acto- 

rea autoriz&ndoae an finsenada. Baja '•alifomia, a loa seia 

dlaa del maa de Agosto de mil novecientos cuarenta y siete.- 

Doy f 4 .-Alejandro Lamadrid. -Hilbrica.- Anotada dabidanente - 

lacopia de refarencia, el original ae davolvi(J al intare — 

sado y un ejemplar ae agrega al Apandice de rfate libro.-Doy 

fi*- KL Regiatrador.-Ona firma ilegible". 

Ea copia fiel de au original que ae expide a aoiicitud del aenor- 

gLEJANDRO K.SAMARIN . previo el pago del impuaato de ley; autori- 

z4ndoae en Enaenada, Baja California, 9-)loa once dlaa del mea — 

da Agosto da mil novecientoa cuftrej/^, y sigl^^z-Doy f 4 .-:?—— -——- 




Taxation 



43 




Courtesy of Jim Mohoff 

Varria L. Mohoff, Jim M. and Micliael G. Prophet are some of the first 
settlers. 



venir, on the land adjacent to theirs, is what motivated the Molokans 
to change their means of taxation. They were worried that more of 
their land would be seized by the government unless they became 
individual tax payers. 

When a family from Guadalupe left for America, upon mutual 
agreement, quietly and without fanfare, they usually sold their land 
back to someone within the Molokan colony. Customarily, the parcels 
were sold to the owners of the neighboring land and this is how some 
of the Molokan colonists ended up with larger lots. The invoice of the 
land transfer was signed by two witnesses, contained all the pertinent 
stamps and had to be signed before a public notary. 



44 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



, J/S/Uiy^'iiuc /yo^^ 



1*/. 



•Valor f J y^O 



g^ ■• ■ 2 00 1 

Uiezcepcton num. .*- y.. ^ ' 
£Boleta num. ^.^..P^.. 



#]!):) CONTRIBUCLONES DIRECTAS 



(SL 



-«f...<s**r*!*... 



J 

5 

5 

1 
J 

3 ! 
J 



LIQUIDACION. 





/la cnteiado en ejta 

oficinq la cantldad de ^ tX...w^..??.. 




.lequn eipccificacion. al matqcn. 

uGccko en on.icnada.^^D. lO. eBn/n. 

(Salifoinla. a..././~ de U^^^-e>f9<f^.. 

- dc ict/ J 



&l iOh.C 





^-Z^ /,^ f 



Taxation 



45 



ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 

Value: $3.30 

Quota: $10 to the thousand 



Perception No. 2001 
Receipt No. 285 



DIRECT CONTRIBUTIONS 



Description 
One adobe house 



Agricultural equipment 
Land 



Collection Costs 
Total 



The Director 
Signature 



$ 60 



$ 40 
$230 



.60 



.40 
2.30 




3.30 



Mr Paul Novikoff has entered 

into this office the amount of 

$3.30, three pesos and 30 

cents. 

For direct contributions as 

specified under the description. 

Signed in Ensenada D.H. 

Baja California on the 15th of 

June, 1915 

The collector Juan Espinoza 

The next payment is due from 

the 1st to 10th of July of next 

year. 



CHAPTER EIGHT 



THE BUILDING OF THE COLONY 



When the Molokans arrived in the Guadalupe Valley they found 
the valley floor covered with wild grasses that reached three-feet high. 
Dense thickets of reed grew alongside the riverbed while Elm trees and 
Evergreen scattered about the ravine. Along the rocky mountain 
slopes bordering the valley laid the heaviest vegetation of short grasses, 
wild sage and Oak trees. In the high mountains to the east of the 
valley was a thick forest where the colonists obtained much of their 
firewood . 

The natural vegetation indicated a climate referred to as summer- 
dry characterized by winter rainfall and a hot, dry summer often cre- 
ating a shortage of water in the lowland soils. For years this type of 
climate limited the extent of agricultural activity to non-irrigated 
crops able to survive the summer on groundwater. 

Some structures already stood in the Guadalupe colony. One was 
the Mission Senora de Guadalupe built by a Dominican priest in 
1834. Another building was used as a temporary Molokan church 
until 1910 when Alex Kotoff moved from Guadalupe and his house 
was converted to a church. This building was used from 1910 until 
1950 when a new church was built. The new church was equipped 
with tables, benches, a full size kitchen, dishes for 200 people, towels 
and tablecloths. The church was used until 1964-65 when the last 
Molokan left Guadalupe. Still another house was used as a public 
school by the colony — the school was called Samarin School because 
Timothy M. Samarin had donated the use of his building. Another 
house named Las Tres Palmas was occupied by George Flower and his 
wife Sylvia. The Mission and the Guadalupe Valley was owned by 
Mrs. Ponciana Lopez de Moreno whose daughter Sylvia was married 
to George Flower. 

George and Sylvia Flower's daughter Luciana was married to 
Percy Barre and together they lived in a huge house on the south end 



The Building of the Colony 



47 



€ 







Courtesy of Mary A. Babashoff 

Alexie Karp. Samarin family Bill, (back row) John, Morrie, Nastiya, Mania, 
Tania I., baby Esther, Alexsay K., Lugueria I. (mother), Sasana, Lusha and Fenya. 
Samarin 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Ivan G. (grandfather of author), son Moisei and Nastiya I. Mohoff 



48 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



of the colony's boundary limits called Rancho Casa Barre. The ranch 
comprised of 8,000 acres and the Barre family had cattle and a few 
horses. Most the land, however, was leased to the Russians with one- 
fifth of the crop grown used as payment. But, in 1937, troubles for the 
Molokans began when an agrarian group of Mexican nationals took 
possession of the best land of Rancho Barre. Ejido El Porvenir was 
formed and the Russians lost 5,000 acres of available land they had 
been leasing for 30 years from the Barre family to this group. 

TO WHOM IT I'ljiY cc:tc::r::; 

The nearer I3ASILIV G/TOJ.::OS0FF 

I have known for 20 years 17 of these years he iias far- 

ned on my Ranch (Rancho Bella Vis ta, Guadalupe . li.nt'a.) 
anci I have found him an exceptional man in all ny deal- 
inna with him. Hones t, capable ana trustwortny, and I 
taJce the greatest pleasure in recommending him for his 

sterling qualities. 

He is an excellent w/ieat far- 
mer, understanding noaern farm machinery, and madern 
methods of farming, making hin a competent man for any- 
thing in his line. » 



Bella Vista fiancho. 
Guadalupe. Baja Calif. 
Januarv 1st., 19 30. 



jL^Ct^^ ^yi-^Ziu (a_o^^^K ^r\j^^ r'^J^ ^ 






:^ . 



r-s t i 



^ 










The Building of the Colony 



49 



■jismcisv^ 






.caL.- 






,,r-r- ov lercera.- 


...HPROr,,, „P,..n3.-77ul. 


,.p,n,..,, 8£2/671.eo/3ul. 





EBNO DELTEHRfTOBIO NORTE 
DE LA 
BAJA CALIFORNtA 



AsuNToPe le transcribe oiicio del ^. uele_i.do del 
uepartac.e ito rtgrario, relative j; Ics bienes - 
a cue se rei"iere . 

mexicali, B. Ufa., a 
22 de junio de 193S. 

br. Basilio i. Tolmasoff. 
Oolonia "GUAJivLlPi;" . 
Elnsenada, B. Cfa. 

i^n contesti.ci6n a su atento escrito de fecha 2^ de 
mayo ultimo, me pern:ito transcribir a usted, per acuerdo - 
del G. Gobemador, el oficio numero 1334, gira-do a este jo 
bierno por el C. Uele^ado del uepartaraento .-igi'ario en este 
ierritorio, con fecha 3u del mes proximo pasado, relativo 
a los bienes de su propiedad afectados por el poblido "^1 
i'orvenir" y cuya indemnizacion reclamat- 

" c\:a el C2:'CJ ie alan-.^-i-e le acuu:-ic con la - 

i-c;,' z-zs. al -Ji-c - ir. te.'ier nec;ssiciad ie in^s:.-nizar - 
_:ci'' 3U valoi-, _• z^v Ic cue resriecta a la casa, ccr.c - 
4j-.a r.j pueic- ^_--:'^i:-r i.icluiia denuro ie la io.aci^n, 
31 5S neociS :•'.:■ Lc .e.'.er un arre-lo con Ico ajilatarica 
_ il .r.v ijt..:-i : , .cr lo que -j-.. 3e co.T.iii T.'.a -..1 J;i3- 
,a_: Ic i--'CiV.c.':i';i -.ji'dai para .:,ue ri^.j- un ^i value / oi 
y:zi:: i..-'.r;;.:i:' a uL'.eJ. sc-re el par":,icular. 

Aten-ca.-ne.-te . 

ii'l oecre;feario vral./,de Gobierno. 




^'lores Liiaz. 



Governor 

N. Baja Calif. 



General Secretary 
Official #3-7701 
Exp. 852/671.60/901 



Agrarian Dept. 

Mexican B. CFA 

June 22, 1938 
Sr. Basilio Tolmasoff 
Colony of Guadalupe 
Ensenada Baja Calif. 

This is to answer to you letter dated 5/20/38 with the agreement of the 
governor and delegate of the agrarian dept. on the 30th of last month. 
In regards to you property effected by Ejido El Porvenir in which you 
claim the bobwire fence, in accordance with the law, goes to ejido with- 
out necessity of indemnice of value. But in respect to the house, it 
cannot be included with the dotation. 



value 
$231.50 



The General Secretary 
Attorney Esteban Flores Dias 



50 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

The following is an example of a purchase agreement: 
In Guadalupe Colony, municipality of Ensenada, northern terri- 
tory of Lower California, on the 17th day of the month of October of 
1946, before witnesses of age and neighbors of this place, they appear 
on one part Mrs. Varia Bolotin Vda de Mohoff, neighbor of the 
Guadalupe Colony and from the other part Mr. Basilio J. Mohoff, 
married farmer and neighbor of this place and with the legal capacity 
and necessary contract to oblige, said: 

That they have made a private contract of sale — purchase they 
came to formalize under the following clauses: 

FIRST: Mrs. Varia Bolotin Vda de Mohoff that she is owner and she finds 
herself in quiet and peaceful possession, that she sell-transfer in favor of Basi- 
lio J. Mohoff one house dwelling constructed adobe and wood, storage 
houses, one windmill, and water tank, one parcel consisting of 1,000 plants, 
one land fraction with 8,000 plants of grapes, which is marked parcel #1C in 
the general plan of Russian Colony with surface area of 15 acres; one fraction 
of agriculture land with surface of 15 acres marked with letter D on parcel 
#64; one fraction agriculture land surface of 15 acres letter D of parcel #27 
and one fraction agriculture land surface 15 acres letter D of parcel #46 of the 
same plan with a price of $5000 pesos in Mexican currency. 

SECOND: The lot mentioned in the first clause is shown in the official map 
of this colony with its measurements and its adjoins. 

THIRD: Mrs. Bolotin Vda de Mohoff continues stating that under the 
clauses that antecede and by means of this document that she sells, relin- 
quishes and transfers onto Mr. Basilio J. Mohoff the lot described above being 
included in this sale all of its uses, customs, and everything that in fact and by 
right belong to her. 

FOURTH: The price of this lot is described in the first clause that the selling 
party admits having received to its entire satisfaction from the buyer and 
agreeing that the settled price and paid is just and legitimate the corresponds 
to the this lot being transferred and therefore there in no injury whatsoever 

FIFTH: State the selling party that the property being transferred is free 
from any leans, it has not been mortgaged in any form that eviction is obli- 
gated per the law stating to herself that in this transaction there are not any 
overindulgence that it is not being parted with by mistake or deprived by 
violence or suppressed by dolus malus (fraud) ultimate declaration that in 
equal terms made the buying party. 



The Building of the Colony 51 

\ ^ .;-- . 

Bn Guadalim'^, O^l-^ccucion d" TlInsPnaiTn. Tf'rT^tnHn Vorf d^ In - 
raja CalifnrnJa, a los I'rCdIecJ sietf ) 'lias ''.oi htps octuTirf" d-^ 
11544 (iril nov«>ci«r.tos cuar'^nta j cnatro ), ant" los t-'sti'rns rty 
al calc* firn:an, cormar'?ci "^ron por una nart'^ la s^'nra Vari a -- 
Balotin Vda. d'' ''oLoff, mavor do edad,Tduda. ocn~iartP 'r ^j ho- 
rrp.r, d'^ nac:! OTT-lid.Td r'lsn. :^ r-?clna dn .-^cti C ■•1 o^'-i :v, v T>or la — 
otra -l Sr. EasllJo J. Mo.^off, mayor d'^ ■'dad. casado. a-rr^'cfl- 
tor, d? nacionalidad riTsa y vcJno d'? e-^tr^ Ji'-rar. an>os con la 
capacidad 1 (^sal rHna contratar y o'hll;T;ars'' ■^ dl.lTnn: Cw tr e- 
non cnnc Tfado un contruto d** cojunra-v^nta f^l aw i^Tf ~cc"fonan 
al trnor d'^ las clHU3i'las sl;^l''nt°s: ------------- 

FniM'^RA. - La s-^nra Varla Balotin Vda. d° ^ohoff, rr?>m' fi -sta - - 
nue can sn cardcter d*» propif^tarla, v^df^, cd^ j trasna'?a a fa- 
vor d°l Sr. Basilio J. Mo.joff, una caga haMtaci6n constrni'da - 
do adobr> y rnadTa, altnacnes, im a'^r^n-rro tor v un tan'-ii" ""am - 
arrua ublcados '^n un lotrj dc? tprr^no °n ■^st'' iTir'ar: un lote dn - 
t!?rr?no con una pi antacion dp 1, f^rri Ctrfl ) matas d'^ ■v-fra -^a 'en - 
produccl6nj una fraccJon d'i torreno con una plantac^tjn de P. 000 
(ocho ml) matas de vlna ya "^n producclon, narcada con la 1 etra 
"C d-^ la parcr-la Nueto 16 del Piano G-^n^ral d'> 1 a Colnnla Rn- 
sa, cor sup. erflcii? de H (nuoy*) b^ct^reas, f^C n!r>tros,f^~ c''rrt;f_ 
mstroa: una fraccl<^u do terreno do cultlvo con sTrnprficie d*? 1" 
(troc?) hoctanaa. 67P4 aetros, S4 c^ntf motros, marcada con la - 
1 :trn "D" d-? la parc^la numero 64 del Piano Genr>ril d" la Colo- 
nla Rusa J una fraccl(5n de terreno do ciil tj vo con sir^orflcle [1-= - 
hoct.'iroas, IPf^ inotros, 61"' conffffi^^tros, marcida con 1 o. letro, - 
"T)" do la parcla nuraero 27 del piano General de la Colonia Ur- 
sa y una fracci'^n de t»rreno de cultlvo con sunerflclf* do S hr>c 
tareas. 2.500 in^tros, marcada con la 1 etra "D" do la parcla nu 
mero 46 d**! nrlsnx) Piano. El precio conr=nido d'» la v^nta es do 
$ 5.000.00 (CINCO MIL P'^SOS MONTJA NACIONAL 1, auo "l Tond'^dor. - 
conflesa tenor recl'bidos a su entera Gatisfacclon f. por no s'^r 
d"* pres-^nt? la entroga, renmicia la exoncldn d^ dinTo no r^cd- 
Tildo y '♦I tprrdno mie para Tiacerla ral t s^nalan los Articulo.<; 
IPP-^ V irn4 dpl Codigo Civil. - 

S'-GUrrnA. - Doclaran airbas partes contratant'^s, "nr* <=^n '^sta v^ntn 
no media lesion a qur> se contrae el Articulo 16nP d'*l C7 tado — 
Corlj^o, por ser el precio estlpulado, el justo y lerrltiiro do la 
propledad transf^rlda, poro si la huTilere d"! ''x-'so o dlfT-^ncln 
s "^ to.C'rn mutua, mra e Irr-^vocaM e la donacdon. r^nunciando l^^s 
■b -'nefic:?og d'^ los Artictilos V?P!7, l^-^^n Fracclon IT, 1^60 v ipno 
del cltado Ord'^nadento. - 

T'^nCRA. - Declara la s-rora Varla Balotin Vda. d' Mohoff. ni.-^. In 
pro-':) ?dad tnnsf 'rlda °sta li'hre de toda carrra v Tr^varc-n.^or 1 f^ 
-"U 1 s" oMi^a a la '^vi ccion y ganearnl"nto =>n forira v confonn"^ a 
d^r'^cho. - 

CUARTA. - El cor.Tnrador Sr. BasJlJo J. "o.|off dl.lor '^i-^ ac-^ta ^s* 
ta vnta en todos sus t^rirlnos. - 

L "IOA osta escrltura a las partes contratnnt -"s v Tij -■n "nt'^rad'^s 
de 3U valor v fu-rza l-'jral'^s, estuMpron conforrn^s cor. su t-^nor. 
la ratificaron, f J rmnndo r-i Sr. '^os-il-Jo J. ''njoff. no ^aci^dolo 
la s^^ora Varla Balotin Vda. de Mohnff -or "^r- aoViop flr^ar, ■"or 
1" cual ''staiTTia su '^U'^lla di;rital d -^1 d"'do -"u] rrar d'- 1« w.^n'^ d - 
r ciia. ant'^ los t'Stic;os suscr''t03. rtu" son iravor-^s rl" ""dad. co- 
"ac"'3 V J. ■> ""sta vc7ndad. S*^ ^dl'.lr:? ^y-n ins t'mhr a '" narcf 1^ 
i, V. las -"atrHc"." "n 1 or'''r'npl v los tn^nn -3 n -1 nirri .1 "^n-To. - 



52 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



v^'*-- 






c"i"rnA"on. 



Varia BalotJn Tela, d- Mohoff. 
(IITTRLLA DICIT.iX ) 






t::stic-o. 



T^STICn. 



-^ / /'^'^ 



.>£^^ 







, ■ \!'^' 



CONFORM'' LA V^-NTA GP^ A^T'-'CTDT^. 




SIXTH: Mr. Basilio J. Mohoff accepts all the terms of this contract acknowl- 
edging to this entire satisfaction the lots that he acquires by means of this tide 
and with this document which protects him. 



It was read to the contractees and they were informed of its con- 
tents and legal enforcement. They confirmed and signed it as being in 
agreement before the witness who gave faith. 



The Building of the Colony 



53 



A neighboring group, Ejido El Porvenir, petitioned ownership 
from the government for half of the Barre Ranch. Mexican law allows 
the seizure and distribution to a petitioning group, for property of 
more than 5,000 acres, owned by a single absentee landowner. Most 
the Molokans raised their horses and cattle in the area of land that was 
now Ejido El Porvenir and often their animals would return to this 
birth place. When this occurred, the animals were detained for tres- 
passing and the Molokans were forced to pay ransom for the return of 
the animals. In the beginning, this group (or ejido) was not friendly 
and they made life for the Molokans difficult. When the animals 
passed through Ejido El Porvenir to go to Rancho Ochoa, which was 
land the Molokans were leasing, again the animals were detained and 
the Molokans were forced to pay a large fine. With time, however, the 
neighbors earned each others respect and were able to accept each 
other mutually. In 1944, a Mexican company purchased 3,000 acres of 
the east part of Barre Ranch and planted thousands of olive trees in an 
area now known as Olivares. Due to Olivares' purchase of the land, 
the Russians were denied renewal of their lease, which shrunk their 
agricultural base further. The combined loss of arable land and pas- 
ture land forced many of the Molokan youth to abandon the Guada- 
lupe colony and head north to the United States. 

In the first year of colonization in the Guadalupe Valley, homes 
were not built. The Molokans lived under tents and canvas, and some 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

The main street of Guadalupe toward the north end of the colony. Home #64 on 
the map index. 



54 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Kate Dalgoff 

Motvey V. Buckroff (from left), Dunia V., Vasilli M., Vasilli V., Maria V. 
Shubin, and Masha V. Tolmasoff 



y 




Courtesy of Tania Marozoff Shubin 

Feodor V. Marozoff with wife Pascunia M. are some of the first settlers, 1905. 



The Building of the Colony 



55 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Main street toward the south end of the colony The properties and gardens 
were fenced. This type of fence bordered the entire plot and was made in stockade 
fashion with willow branches and supported by interwoven barbed wire. The house on 
the left is #31 on the map index and the house on the right is #32. 




Courtesy of Vasilli M. Tolmasoff 

Sasha (first row), Maria, Martha, Hazel, Jack, Mikhial, Onya (grandmother) 
(second row), Ulasha, Katsya P. (wife), George, John, Gregory D., and Matriona A. 
Afonin are early settlers, 1905. 



56 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



1 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

David P. and Nastiya Rogoffs home built in 1906; #64 on map index. 

lived in makeshift shacks. It seemed the first year's duties involved 
fixing roads, digging wells and beginning their crops. But soon, ap- 
proximately 75 homes were built along the one main street of the 
colony which was lined with exotic trees including Australian Eucalyp- 
tus and Peruvian Pepper. The Molokans arranged their homes as they 
had in Russia, in the traditional German Strassndorf style, with the 
back of the house facing the street and the front door and porch facing 
the backyard. The land encircled the house so when a farmer left his 
home, within minutes, he was on his farm land. 

When somebody wanted to build a house, he invited his friends 
to help him with the construction. No money was paid, only food 
provided. The men were satisfied with a meal in return for their time. 
Their kindness was returned when they in turn needed help. 

When lumber was needed, the Molokans in Los Angeles that 
worked at lumber yards got a discount and would ship the material to 
San Diego via railroad. The Molokans of Guadalupe would pick the 
shipment up in San Diego on their five-horse wagons. The trip from 
the Valley to San Diego was 75 miles and the only existing road went 
through Tecate. The round-trip journey by horse and wagon took ap- 
proximately 10 days. At the half way point was "El Carrizo." The 
Molokans made friends with the owner and were allowed to camp 
overnight on his land. The owner also allowed the Molokans to use his 



The Building of the Colony 



57 





Courtesy of Hazel Mohoff 

Preacher Pavil I. and Dunia P. Samaduroff Some of the first settlers in Guada- 
lupe, 1905. 




Country roads and their poor condition. A wagon just unloaded their wheat grain and 
prepares to return for the second load. This type of wagon was used to transport crops 
from the field to as far as San Diego. 

corral and water for the horses. Eventually, a deal was made with the 
owner to leave spare horses there since trips to San Diego were so 
frequent. The El Carrizo ranch was located a few miles west of "Valle 
de las Palmas" (Palms Valley). 

In general, the Molokan houses in Guadalupe were built fish- 
bone fashion with a central ridge pole and a roof that slanted down 



58 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

Mid-way horsewagon rest area, El Carrizo, a few miles west of Valle de las 
Palmas enroute to San Diego, a 75 mile journey. 

Steadily on both sides. A foundation trench 3-feet deep was dug first, 
then a 3 -foot stone wall was erected as the foundation. Mud and gravel 
were mixed and packed around the stone to form a type of mortar. 
The walls were made with adobe brick. While the first settlers in Los 
Angeles built their homes from wood, the Russian colonists used 
adobe brick due to the scarcity of lumber. The best material for adobe 
brick was red clay with straw added. Toward the outside hills of the 
Valley one could see what was called "redish clay." This soil had a 
composition suitable for brick making. Three or four horses were 
hitched together and the children of the Valley would ride one horse 
around in a circle for several hours. The horses would trample the clay 
until the texture was conducive to brick-making. After the mud was 
kneaded to consistency, it was left to season. On the second day, chil- 
dren poured the mixture into wooden molds 10-by-14-by-3 inches to 
dry. The bricks were then stacked on the foundation to finish the house. 
Once the walls of the house were erected, the ceiling was made by 
laying beams across lengthwise and boards were nailed across the 
beams. A layer of mud was then spread over the board and shingles 
were placed on top. Most houses had a tongue-in-groove ceiling, a base- 



The Building of the Colony 



59 



merit and a barn used for hay storage and shelter for animals. Cheese, 
cucumbers, cabbage and other supplies were kept in the cellar because 
temperatures were 15-20 degrees cooler. By 1920, each house also had 
a windmill, and its own water tank with a 1,000 gallon capacity. 




Courtesy of Mary J. Samaduroff 

Visitor, Andrey I., Hania F. , Bill, Tanya, Onya Nazaroff a two story house 
built by Petro Evsaeff in 1906. The second owner was Jack Bugroff in 1915, then Ivan 
I. Nazaroff. Home #75 on map index. 



CHAPTER NINE 



DEPARTURE FROM MEXICO 



By 1937, the Russian colony was faced with cultural and eco- 
nomic crises. The social unity the elders had sought in Mexico was 
under strain. In 1938, some of the younger members of the commu- 
nity were no longer satisfied with the limited options of the traditional 
agricultural community. Increasing numbers of colonists began to mi- 
grate north of the border. Just after the homestead was formed in 
Rancho Barre in September 1937, the Russians, with little knowledge 
of Mexican law, believed the community was in danger of expropria- 
tion. The uncertain future of their tenancy combined with the deterio- 
rating social and economic conditions stimulated widespread interest 
in relocating to the United States. 

About this time the Russians had their first contact with Ernest 
R Hughes. When Emiliano B. Abakumoff contemplated purchasing 
property near Ramona on the Old Murray Ranch and Santa Maria 
Valley in the United States he also gave family and friends a favorable 
report on the property. Hughes encouraged the Russians to view the 
land and he offered transportation to Ramona. About 25 colonists 
surveyed the Ramona land, of which 10 families decided to purchase 
it. Negotiations with Hughes proceeded swiftly and the progress was 
reported in a series of newspaper articles between 1938 and 1940. 

The articles explained the colony was a religious sect and had 
certain legal technicalities to take care of before the migration across 
the border could be made. Those who wished to move from Guada- 
lupe to Ramona would be required to apply for visas to be presented 
at the United States border. The immigration-naturalization article 
stated those born in Mexico could legally emigrate without restriction. 



Departure from Mexico 



61 



while those born in Russia automatically fell into quota laws of the 
immigration office in San Ysidro. 

The newly formed Russian Molokan colony in Ramona con- 
sisted of 10 families that settled on 200 acres of land along Highland 
Valley Road, west of Ramona. They purchased the land through 
Hughes from Security First National Bank of Los Angeles for $50 an 
acre, in 40-acre parcels, with a $200 down payment. The first to ar- 
rive, according to the "Ramona Sentinel," was the Andrey Klistoff 
family. Also included in the purchase were Vasili G. Tolmosoff, Ivan 
M. Tolmosoff, Andrey S. Filatoff, Sergio A. Filatoff, David Novikoff, 
Sam D. Novikoff, John Novikoff, Vasili I. Pivovaroff, Pavil I. Sa- 
marin. Bill Samarin and their respective families. 

In 1939, another family from Guadalupe wished to emigrate to 
Vista, California, but also ran into some red tape. Alex I. Kornoff and 
his family applied for visas. The couple was born in Russia but their 




Courtesy of Alice Kobzeff 

Early settlers Alexsay V. Kobzeff (back row), Parasha Kobzeff, Dunia T. and 
Alexsay I. Kornhoff, Onya, Fenya Kornoff, Alice, Jim Kobzeff, Parania, Andrey 
Kornoff, Vera (front row), Katia Kornoff, Nora Kobzeff, John Kornoff, Vera, Iffim, 
Vasilli Kobzeff in Alexsay Kornoff s back yard. 



62 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

children were born in Mexico. Because of a twist in the immigration- 
naturalization service laws, the parents were notified to pick-up their 
visas, but their children had to wait another year. Kornoff sold his 
property, except the house, and moved to Vista. The grown children 
lived in Guadalupe for one more year by themselves until they too, 
received their visas in 1940. 

Although there were more than 100 families living in Guadalupe, 
people continued to immigrate. In 1915, about 120 families inhabited 
the Valley. About this time 20 families journeyed to Jerome, Arizona, 
by horse and wagon to experiment with communal living. They tem- 
porarily established themselves in a large barn, and acquired jobs con- 
nected to ranch or factory work. The colony ultimately failed and the 
families returned either to Mexico or Los Angeles. 

Between 1940-1945, during World War II, a generation of the 
Mexican Molokans began to rejoin the Molokans in Los Angeles. 
Those that remained in Guadalupe were the very young and the mid- 
dle aged. By 1947, there were 49 families remaining in the Valley. 
Figuring they would stay, most of these families remodeled their 
homes, bought gas stoves and invested in the luxuries of running water 
and electricity. However, in 1959 squatters began to repeatedly invade 
their land until the remaining Russians packed their bags and left 
Guadalupe for good in 1964-65. There were kind, honest Mexican 
families in the Valley who purchased the land fairly from the Molo- 
kans in the early 1950s. The Fuentes', a wealthy family of grape 
growers, went to school at Texas A & M and where Mr. Fuentes ob- 
tained a degree in agriculture in 1928. In 1950, he bought a ranch 
from Moses H. Nazaroff and remained a close friend to his Molokans 
neighbors. The Fuentes' and the Russians visited each other often and 
together struggled for their lives and land against squatters. On one 
occasion, the wives and children of the squatters blocked the street to 
prevent the Molokans from working their farms. Fuentes came to their 
rescue, telling the squatters they were taking advantage of the Rus- 
sians because they would not use arms. The squatter called him a 
Russian to which he replied, "I'm not Russian and I do have a gun. If 
you don't clear the street someone will get hurt." They dispersed and 
the Molokans appreciatively went on to their work. 



Departure from Mexico 



63 




Courtesy of Agafia Rogoff 

Kathy Rogoff (daughter of Maria Rogoff) prepares a meal on tiie old cast iron 
wooden stove. In the 1920s almost everyone in Guadalupe had this type of stove. 



CHAPTER TEN 



A TYPICAL HOME 



A majority of the homes in the Valley were built with floors of 
either dirt or wood, depending on the owner's wealth. Houses were 
white-washed inside and outside with lime to prevent crumbling and 
add to the home's beauty. Then, once a year the paint was renewed. 
The houses had three rooms and a kitchen and each room had two or 
three large windows. Usually, two bedrooms were provided for the 
children and one for the parents. 

The dining area was located in the kitchen and inside the kitchen 
was a large table with wooden benches around it that seated 12. In 
addition, there was a storage chest in which the week's supply of bread 
was stored. The kitchen was considered the most important room of 
any Russians' home. In the early days of the colony, food was cooked 
on wood-burning stoves. There were usually two per house — one in 
the kitchen and one outside on the veranda. Not until the late 1940s 
were some of these stoves replaced with gas stoves. Also in the kitchen 
was a large brick oven (pechka) which due to its size, protruded out- 
side. The pechka was usually found in a second room adjoining the 
actual kitchen and extended into the kitchen so in the winter, it could 
be used as a heater. The oven was made up of two sections, the hearth 
and the fire box. The hearth was located in front and was connected to 
the chimney. The firebox was where wood was burned. Once the wood 
burned, the coals and ashes were raked into the hearth with a hoe that 
had a long wooden handle and an iron tip with an "L" hook. The 
inner portion of the oven was well-swept with a dampened cloth tied 
around a long stick before food was baked. A large kitchen table was 
covered with an oil cloth and was where all meals were eaten. Most of 
the utensils used in the kitchen were imported from America, such as 



A Typical Home 



65 




Courtesy of Vera Kornoff 

John Mohoff and Andrey Mohoff attempt to scare off coyotes with an axe and a 
shotgun at Ranch Santa Clara. Andrey Mohoff was the master brick layer in the 
valley who made all the ovens (petchki). 



kettles, mixing bowls and teapots. The only truly "Russian" utensils 
were the wooden spoons and bowls. Because these were considered 
precious family possessions, they were usually displayed and only used 
on special occasions. 

The adornments in the Russian home were simple. In the living 
room, there were usually wedding photos of relatives and some pic- 
tures of the children. A large table was typically covered with a lace 
tablecloth and held the Bible, new testament and "The Book of Spirit 
and Life." Lace curtains covered the windows and white towels often 
hung near the table, as they do in Molokan churches. A special guest 
bed with a feather mattress was kept in the living room protected by 
handmade bedcovers. In every room was a steamer trunk (soondook) 
used for storage because there were no closets. What is now considered 
decoration, a samovar was then in each household and was considered 
the focus of the Molokan social life. Brought from Russia, the samovar 
was used to boil water for their tea in the home, as well as in the 
church. Many of the Russians lugged this important item with them 



66 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Samovaar, Alejandro J. and Vera J. Samarin 



from their homeland. The samovar water capacity varied from two to 
four gallons of water. Coals or wood was placed below and in the 
center of the samovar and it usually took 30-45 minutes to boil water 
for tea. The samovars installation was designed for maximum ventila- 
tion allowing the smoke to escape. 

No house seemed complete until it had a steam bath (banya). 
The banya was constructed of adobe brick and measured about 10-by- 
10 feet. A small dressing room, approximately 4-by-lO-feet, with a 
window was connected to the banya. The roof was made with logs and 
covered with clay and mud to prevent the steam from escaping. The 
construction of the banya was very simple. Inside were wooden 
benches with a platform where one could sit or lay down. A steel drum 
was placed through a hole in the wall so it protruded to the inside. It 
was sealed well with clay to prevent smoke. River rock was placed on 
the part of the drum that faced the inside and firewood was placed in 
the drum that was outside the banya. A large wash tub filled with 
water stood nearby. The wood was lit in the drum early in the day so 
when the men returned from the fields on Saturday, the bath was 



A Typical Home 



67 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

This wagon was also used to bring wood from the forest. 



WSW il'\^\t\ 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Pete, George and Issai Mohoff use the wagon for local transportation and light 
duties. In other words, this was a pick-up truck. 

already hot. Eucalyptus branches were placed in the hot water inside 
the banya and when inside the only sounds were the hiss of the steam 
and the slap of the eucalyptus leaves being patted on their bodies. 
"Eucalypting" the body promoted circulation and produces a pleasant 



68 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

fragrance. The men stayed in the steam bath for about half an hour, or 
longer. Cold water was poured on the stones to produce steam and 
when they emerged, their bodies were a pinkish color from the heat. 
The effect is very different from the dry heat of a Finnish-style sauna, 
here the moisture made the air feel considerably hotter and more 
stifling, especially when bathers tossed buckets of cold water onto the 
stones. During hot weather, the men would bathe in the lakes or rivers 
instead of the banya. 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 



WORK— A WAY OF LIFE 



There was much hard work to be done in the Guadalupe Valley. 
The clock was basically unknown to the colonists until the 1930s. They 
arose with the roosters crow and stopped work when the sun went 
down. The roosters crowed at midnight, 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. until they 
were fed. In the winter, when days are shorter, less hours were worked, 
but in the summer, the day often involved 12 hours of work. The 
farmers told time by looking at the sun and hours were measured by 
the shadow of the sun cast by a stick. It was simple to make approxi- 
mations as to what time it was, but the exact time was not known until 
clocks became common. While working the farm it seemed a short 
time before the sun was directly overhead and the farmer signaled to 
his wife that it was time for lunch. The day to the Molokans was not 
24 hours, but based on the the cycle of the moon making about a 29 
hour day. When the Molokans spoke about some event in the distant 
past they referred to the year of the big snow, or the big flood or the 
year of the winds, or the year of the drought. Calendars were virtually 
unheard of and occurences happened a certain number of moons ago. 
A month was measured as the length of time it took for the moon to go 
through its four phases. 

Duties were designated for both men and women in the Valley, 
with the men doing most of the farming. The first year in Guadalupe 
the Molokans did not fully work the land. They spent the majority of 
the year fixing roads, digging water wells and moving equipment. 
Making new roads was important to the colony because it enabled 
them to transport crops to Ensenada and move equipment as necessary. 

The roads were in poor condition and when it rained, they were 
nearly impossible to use. Rivers in the area had no bridges and the Molo- 



70 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Bill I. Mohoff 

During the rainy season the rural roads of the valley were filled with bumps and 
ruts. Buggies and horsewagons would sink to their hubs in the sticky mud. 




Courtesy of John and Bill Tolmasoff 

Road from Guadalupe, south to Ensenada was built by Molokans at their own 
expense. 



Work — A Way of Life 



71 



kans had to build and maintain roads themselves. In 1905, the Molo- 
kans made a new road from Guadalupe to Ensenada, a distance of 22 
miles. Using dynamite and tools they purchased, the road was com- 
pleted while maintaining the daily duties of building homes and farm- 
ing. While making the road, one man, Bill Akloff, lost his life in a 
dynamite accident. Others were injured in the project but were fortu- 
nate enough to recover. (The names of the men injured were unable to 
be found.) The road built was used until 1958 when the Mexican 
government began building a new highway. At the completion of the 
government highway, Molokans were no longer around to use it. 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Maria Samarin demonstrates the roller, rope and bucket method used at the 
water well in the Molokan's early days. 



72 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



While some worked on the roads others were occupied with the 
task of digging water wells. Wells were dug about 4-feet square, with 
wood retaining walls. The water level in 1907 was at 10-feet, whereas 
in 1960, the water table was at 150-feet due to the decrease in rainfall 
and increased water usage by the irrigation system. 

In 1907, irrigation of the crops was dependent upon the mercy of 
the weather. To provide water for the animals and themselves as well as 
irrigate their gardens, farmers used the rope and bucket method. 
About 1920, windmills were introduced to Mexico and the Molokans 
began to use them to pump water replacing the old system. A row of 
windmills could be seen on each side of the street just at the rear of 
each house. Some of the towers were imported American steel and 
others were local and constructed from wood. Each water system had a 
large wooden tank set about six feet above the ground. Pumped water 
not used in the home, went into the tank and any excess was used in 
the gardens. All farmers could afford windmills because they were so 
cost-effective. They ran on windpower, requiring no labor. To stop the 
windmill, the farmer turned a crank at the base of the windmill which 
tilted the tail against the wind, stopping the blades. 




Courtesy of June Samarin 

John Nazaroff and James Samarin by a home-made windmill built by Ivan P. 
Samaduroff in 1920 with a wheel of blades set at a common angle and mounted on a 
horizontal shaft. 



Work — A Way of Life 



73 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

The second windmill by Vasilli I. Mohoff This one was of galvanized steel 
construction. The water tank had a capacity of 500 gallons. 



74 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Vasilli I. Mohoff was the first in Guadalupe to have running water in his home 
in 1935. The 75-gallon wooden storage barrel was set 25-feet above the ground for 
good water pressure 



CHAPTER TWELVE 



FARM MANAGEMENT 



The Molokans practiced agriculture as they knew it best, a pat- 
tern that employed several elements of land division and use. Family 
lots were arranged perpendicular to the main street and each occupied 
about two acres. On these tracts sat the house, an outhouse, the bania, 
a barn or shed, and nearby was the well and the windmill. Just beyond 
was a garden and orchard conveniently located near the well for irri- 
gating, but close enough to the home for picking. Molokans were fond 
of farming. Eventually, due to the rising cost of living and technologi- 
cal advances, they began to use modern farming equipment and elimi- 
nated their outdated tools. As an example, plows and threshing 



^r 




^M'ife 



Courtesy of George Mohoff 

George Mohoff and Alex Samarin 



76 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

George Mohoff in a cowboy outfit. In Mexico cowboys were called baqueros. A 
baquero's equipment was a good saddle, horse, boots, chaps, spurs, and rope. Ba- 
queros had to be good horsemen because they practically lived on horseback. They 
rounded up wild horses for younger baqueros to break. Their broad brimmed hat was 
designed to keep the sun out of his eyes and catch rain water in the brim. A baquero's 
neckerchief could be pulled over the face to filter out dust, but his rope was the most 
important tool. The rope was used to catch cattle, hold his horse, and even to kill 
snakes. Some of the ropes were made from horsehair, unlike the nylon ropes of today. 
Some were made from rawhide and could be bought from the local Indians for a 
reasonable price. They were usually 45 to 75 feet long. 

Branding cattle was an early means of reducing the chance of their being lost or 
stolen. Each farmer had his own brand that was registered with the state authorities. 
If a thief was caught tampering with a brand he faced the Federalis. After cattle were 
herded into the corral a calf is isolated from the herd and dragged to the fire where a 
branding iron was used to brand the calf leaving the animal with a permanent mark. 



Farm Management 



77 



CRUZ L. CASTRO Tesorero Municipal del DlstJlto Norte de la 3aja 



California; co ncede llcencla al Senor. Baslly Tolmaaoff para su re- 
glstro de un fleero en esta Tesorerla Municipal, de la marca cuyo 
dlsenp consta al m^rgen, hablendosele expedido la constajicla de pa- 
go del Impuesto Municipal bajo la partlda 2633 de acuerdo con los 
artlculos 85 %1 87 de la Ley de Dotacl6n de rondos Munlclpales Vl- 
gente . - 

Ensenada, B. C. Novlembre 89 de 1912.- 
El Tesorero.- 






ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 

Cruz L. Castro municipal treasurer of North District of the Lower 
California having extended to Mr. Basilio Tolmasoff to register an iron 
mark in this municipal treasury the mark which reads as follows: BT 
Having extended is recorded to the margin of this certificate. He paid 
the respective municipal tax under the part 2633 according to the arti- 
cles 85 and 87 from municipal funds. 

Ensenada Baja Calif. Nov. 29, 1912 
The Treasurer 
Cruz Castro 



machines pulled by draft horses w^ere replaced by modern combines, 
irrigation systems, and chemical sprays. Although the colonists were 
selective in the changes they made, they maintained a positive attitude. 



78 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

John Kornoff and Issai Mohoff 



\* 



r 



I 




Courtesy of Vasilli Samaduroff 

Bill Samaduroff on his horse, Prieto; Rancho Santa Clara. 



Farm Management 



79 




Courtesy of Jim Mohoff 

Visitors from Los Angeles, the Sakrekoff sisters, enjoy a ride by the rock stone 
corral de Piedras which was built by Russian mason builders to round up wild horses. 







Courtesy of John and Bill Tolmasoff 

Vasilli G. Tolmasoff and family use the transportation of the 1920s in a Nash 
road master. 



80 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

When the Molokans arrived in Guadalupe, they found the Valley 
inhabited with hundreds of Mustang horses. The government had a 
ranger that would round up the horses once a year and sell them at 
very low prices. In order to avoid confusion and distinguish whom the 
animal belonged to, horses and cattle alike were marked with an iron 
brand on the left flank. A favorite letter or number was selected as a 
brand. As an example, Basilio Tolmasoff would have "BT." These 
letters were registered with the Mexican government and a legal certif- 
icate was obtained. 

These wild mustangs came from the hacienda of Juan Bandine. 
In 1845, Governor Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, 
gave Don Juan Bandini a grant of land that included the former Mis- 
sion in Guadalupe. Bandini improved the land and planted an or- 
chard, but his primary interest was in raising horses and cattle. By 
1852, the Guadalupe Valley supported some 3,000 horses and cattle. 
A long period of political turmoil followed and the land grants issued 
by Pico were declared void by General Santa Ana. This reversed the 
claim of Bandini to Rancho Guadalupe and returned the land to gov- 
ernment ownership, including the horses. The horses were from a line 
of Spanish horses that had been tamed and brought to Mexico where 
they escaped and became wild again. 

Horse breeding was another major activity of the Molokans. 
This occupation lost its prominence with time paralleling the shrink- 
ing pasture areas. When the colonists first settled in Guadalupe, a 
portion of the land was reserved as pasture land for the animals. This 
land was eventually taken away, and horse breeding decreased. Horses 
remained an essential part of the Molokan's farm life. Feeding of the 
horses involved more than tossing a bale of hay to the animals. Horses 
were finicky and if fed larger quantities they would waste it. So the 
Molokans stretched the hay as much as possible by feeding them a 
little bit at a time throughout the night. The horses were fed at 9 p.m., 
midnight, 4 a.m. and again at 6 a.m. They were given water to fill 
them up and then taken to the fields to work. At noon, the horses were 
fed and allowed to rest for about one hour, then continue to work 
straight through until the sun set. 

Almost all of the Russians kept cattle as a food supply. The larg- 
est herds numbered from 25 to 100 head. Milk from the cattle was 
used to make cheese, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese. Some of the 
dairy products were sold as an extra source of income. Beef was not 
eaten often because of the lack of refrigeration, although some slaugh- 
tering was done. The slaughtering would most often occur in winter. 



Farm Management 81 

The method of slaughter was to subdue the steer with hind legs 
chained together and the animal was laid on its side. A prayer was said 
and the neck veins were cut. The slaughtered animal was allowed to 
bleed completely before the head was cut from the body and the hide 
was stripped. The carcass of the animal was then cut into hindquarter 
and forequarter cuts and divided amongst four families. Few Molo- 
kans engaged in raising sheep, it was more profitable to purchase 
sheep from others. Some farmers raised from 20 to 25 head of sheep 
and kept them in fenced in pasture feeding them grain an hay. These 
sheep were grown primarily for meat but they were also used as a 
source of wool used to make blankets. 

Poultry played an important role in the diet of the colony. Flocks 
of geese, ducks and chickens were kept by every family. Chicks were 
raised from the egg and would take about six months before they 
became fryers. Chicks and baby ducklings were kept in a warm box in 
the kitchen and later raised in a pen. Once they were large enough 
they were permitted to wander to the river that traversed the back of 
some lots. The chickens were identified by clipping different toe nails, 
while the ducks and geese were identified by a marking on their toe or 
webb and each neighbor knew the others markings. Although eggs 
were produced, poultry was kept primarily for meat. Wheat was the 
main staple in Molokan agriculture. It was planted in late fall or early 
winter with the first rains. Harvest time was in June and July, and the 
field lie barren through the long, hot summer. It was an extensive dry- 
farming agriculture type dependent solely upon the weather. Horses 
were the primary draft animal and three or four were hitched abreast 
in teams of 10 for plowing. Heavy work machinery such as plow disks, 
harrows, and seed drills came from the United States as did threshing 
machines, grain binders, hay wagons, racks, balers, combines and 
treadmill horsepower machine to power all the belt-driven farm equip- 
ment. All other major farm equipment came at a later date. Until 
1909, the farming method of the Molokans was primarily manual and 
entire families would work together in the fields. 

On one occasion, a farmer made grape juice and left the sedi- 
ment in a barrel for about one week where it had fermented. The 
farmer, without thinking, gave the sediment to his geese and ducks. 
The animals ate it, passed out, and died. Later in the day the farmer 
discovered the dead poultry and told his wife about the loss. They 
decided to at least save the feathers for pillows and proceeded to pluck 
the feathers from the animals, and left them for dead in the field. The 
following day the animals apparently sobered up and walked home — 



82 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

featherless. The children of the colony saw them "without any clothes 
on" and ran to tell their parents about the "shameful animals walking 
around naked!" 

The Molokan people were chiefly farmers and livestock handlers. 
In the early days, the main source of income was wheat. If the crop 
was good, a small amount was sold in Ensenada and the rest was taken 
to San Diego, for whatever money they could get. This small amount 
of money made was used to buy staples in the market including sugar, 
coffee, cooking oil and other necessities. However, some colonists were 
able to increase their income slightly by engaging in livestock, bee- 
keeping, and fruit cultivation. 

The people of Guadalupe, like other cultures of long ago, ate 
honey taken from the hives of wild bees. Some of the Molokans made 
crude hives for the bees out of hollow logs with sticks inside to support 
the honeycomb. Later, they built wood boxes with solid wood tops to 
support the honeycomb. At the bottom of the box they drilled five or 
six half-inch holes for the bees to enter and exit. Every house in the 
colony had two to 10 hives and the honey was used as a substitute for 
sugar. The honey granulated, or developed sugary crystals, and was 
popularly used in coffee or tea. A unique custom was to hold a lump 
of honey in the mouth and strain beverage through it to sweeten it. 
Beekeepers had to handle their bees carefully so as not to get stung. 
Slow, deliberant movements were needed so as not to disturb the bees. 
The beekeeper usually wore a veil, a wire screen on a gunny sack to 
protect their face. The most important tool used by beekeepers was a 
smoker which is a piece of damp cloth wrapped around a stick lit on 
fire and left to smolder. The smoke made the bees dizzy so the bee- 
keeper could take honey without being stung. This method was 
learned from the neighboring Native American Indians. The Indians 
used to hunt for honey in the wilderness in the hollows of trees, on 
cliffs, in holes, or in in rocks and they would sell honey to the Molo- 
kans or exchange it for food, coffee, flour or clothing. 

On one occasion, an American couple arrived in Guadalupe in a 
fancy car with a fancy movie camera. They asked one Molokan man if 
they could film something exciting. The Molokan jokingly told him to 
give his camera to his wife and go blow in the beehive. He blew into 
the hole and hundreds of bees chased him in all directions. The Molo- 
kans told his wife to take his picture while he was running around and 
they all laughed thinking that was exciting . . . and funny. 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN 



THE ECONOMY 



The economy was based on a number of cash crops. Wheat was 
cut and bundles were tied together by a single stem, or carried loose to 
a cart. It was then taken by cart or wagon from the field to the thresh- 
ing floor where the hooves of horses threshed the wheat from the chaff. 
The mixture was then tossed into the air with a wooden pitchfork 
allowing the denser wheat grain to fall to the floor as the lighter chaff 
blew to the side. It took three times before the separation was complete. 

When wheat was sold as the main cash crop in either Ensenada 
or Tijuana it was placed in bags and taken to the mill for payment. 
The cash received was used for living expenses. Some seed was stored 
in the barns for planting the following year. The wheat was hauled into 
town by five horse-drawn wagons for many years until 1935 when 
American made trucks were used as well. The maximum weight the 
wagons could carry was 1,200 pounds — equivalent to 12 sacks. In 
1935, Moses G. Nazaroff and Basilio M. Buckroff bought a one and 
one half ton Chevrolet truck. Basilio J. Mohoff and Juan P. Sama- 
duroff bought a 1935 Ford with a 2-ton capacity and with the new 
trucks, the Molokans were able to load from 25 to 40 sacks of wheat, 
or about two or three tons. Soon after, more colonists also began to 
purchase trucks. 

Wheat farming was not as simple as plowing, sowing and har- 
vesting. A major problem was damage by disease. The Molokans ex- 
perienced a strange wheat disease (orange dust) during World War II 
from 1941 to 1944. The farmers called the disease Cha-wi-sta. It oc- 
curred when the wheat planted was fully grown and ready to produce 
grain. The last rain of the season usually fell in May leaving a rust 



84 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 








Courtesy of Mary Babashoff 

One of the first trucks in the Guadalupe Valley owned by Moises Nazaroff and 
Vasilli Buckroff, a 1932 Chevrolet. Basilio B. Buckroff, Vasilli M. Buckroff, driver 
Moises Nazaroff, Alexsay Samarin and V.M. Buckroff This load of wheat go to flour 
mill in Ensena B. Calif 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Katsya Afonin and Nastiya Samaduroff driver Moisie H. Nazaroff s 1930 car. 
This was real class! 



Economy 



85 




Courtesy of Issai MohofT 

Ana Babishoff, Nastiya, George, Ivan Samadurofi, use horse power for spe(;c] 
and a mule for slow speed and duration. 



behind that killed the wheat. Rust produced small spots on the leaves, 
stems, and heads of the wheat and these spots later turned brown. 
There were two types of rust — leaf rust and stem rust. Stem rust is 
more destructive because it may attack the plant at any time. Once it 
appears, it leeches most the food and water needed by the wheat plant 
so the wheat kernels dry up. There is very little growers can do to 
prevent rust except destroy the plants that harbor the rust. In an effort 
to salvage damaged crops, some farmers fed the wheat to their ani- 
mals, but they too became ill from it. 

Black grain or Smut, however, attacked the wheat kernels. In 
fact, before planting, to prevent Smut, the seed was put through a 
chemical process. The wheat seed, held in a gunny sack, was soaked in 
diluted copper-ross for 30 minutes. The seed was strained overnight 
and planted within one week. The process was needed to protect the 
wheat plant from producing Smut. When the Smut balls broke, they 
had a foul, fishy odor and if they broke during threshing, they would 
spread, infecting thousands of healthy kernels. If the infected kernels 
were used for seeding, the next crop was also damaged. As part of 
these preventative means, chunks of blue and green copper crystals 
were purchased in 100-pound barrels. Two pounds of crystal were 
placed in 25 gallons of water and 50 pounds of wheat were placed in 
each barrel for half an hour. 



86 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



In addition to wheat, another crop grown by the Molokans was 
barley. Early on, barley was grown in small amounts primarily as feed 
for the animals. But, in 1942, a beer brewing factory was built in 
Tecate. The Molokans then grew large crops and sold the barley to the 
brewery, which was run by Mr. Aldarete. 

Alfalfa was a relatively new crop, but perhaps the most depend- 
able and profitable to the colonists. After irrigation, it was harvested 
and baled. In the last years of the colony an automatic baler was used 
and the alfalfa was trucked to Ensenada or Tijuana for sale. Up to 
eight crops came from one field in a year. At one time or another most 
of the Russians raised all of the cash crops, wheat, barley, alfalfa or 
grapes, while only a few depended entirely upon wheat. Continuous 
growth of a single crop resulted in lower yield. The experienced Rus- 
sian farmers fallowed the fields and later rotated crops to ensure a 
greater crop yield. 

In 1907, table grapes were planted in domestic gardens for per- 
sonal use. In the late 1920s, Gregory Afonin planted 50 acres of 
grapes on his land and drilled an artesian well for irrigation. He pro- 



■-■sstm* 






Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Growing grapes from the cuttings. In winter, the colonists cut pieces of the vine 
cane about 14 inches long and each section had five or six buds. Early in spring the 
cuttings were planted upright in nursery beds, leaving the tops exposed. These grew 
during the summer and the following spring the plant was pruned and planted in 
vineyards in rows 9 by 10 feet. 



Economy 



87 









'Hc<>. *o^i 



^'"^''^ :-•■ 



<\- 



ti'^it> 










.•*• ' 



•'Srl., W®"" 









■«u. > 



Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Vasilli Mohoff watchs his grapes grow 








Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Grapes that were just transplanted from nursery to vineyard. 



88 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

duced an excellent crop of grapes but could not find a market. In 
1943, Santo Tomas Company of Ensenada built a winery so the Molo- 
kans planted large plots of grapes. In fact, they planted half the 
Guadalupe Valley with various types of wine grapes. A man named 
Mr. Ferro was the purchasing agent for the winery. He also bought 
grapes from America which forced the price of the Molokan's grapes 
down. When the grape farmers complained, the Mexican authorities 
stopped Ferro from importing. The prices were then regulated to keep 
them fair and if more grapes were needed then Mexico could produce, 
the winery was then allowed to import. 

In the 1950s a harbor was built in Ensenada. The Republic of 
Mexico opened the international market for Guadalupe wine. Addi- 
tional wineries were built throughout Guadalupe Valley as the demand 
for wine increased worldwide. The Molokans planted the entire Valley 
with grapes. The Molokans briefly experimented with raising seedless 
grapes for raisins, however, this was not a successful venture. 




Courtesy of Issai Mohoff 

Mike B. Buckroff and Issai Mohoff 

McCormick Mower 

This machine was built in 1902 in 4 1/2 to 5 foot sizes. The hand lever permit- 
ted raising the sickle over rock, stumps, etc. The heavy cast iron drive wheel transmit- 
ted power through an internal gear. The two horse draft, one man operation required 
little maintenance. The mower knife required frequent sharpening to maintain opti- 
mum efficiency. Going over each knife with a file or hand stone was tedious and time 
consuming. In the 1920s, the Deering people developed a foot-powered grinder with a 
specially shaped grindsstone to grind the mower and knives and reducing their work 
time by 50 percent 



Economy 



89 





Hay rake 

This Champion Duke rake was introduced by International Harvester Co., in 
1910 and production continued until 1922 featuring an all-steel design and various 
sizes. The 12-foot size was used in Guadalupe and sold in 1921 for $47. It took two 
horses to pull the larger models. The rake was used to gather mowed hay and place it 
in long piles called windrows. The same rake was used to make haystacks. Pictured is 
a 6-foot one horse unit. 



The Molokans made hay from Bluegrass or wild oats, clover or 
barley. After the hay was cut, it laid on the ground to dry. Then it was 
raked into long rows, called windrows, and allowed to dry further in 
the sun. Once dried, the farmers stacked the hay into piles with a 
pitchfork to further reduce the moisture which causes spoilage. When 
the hay was ready, it was baled by using a stationary baler with two 
horses that walked in circles to power it and baling wire was used to tie 
the bales. The bales were usually about 36 inches long and weighed 
more than 100 pounds. The bales were loaded onto a wagon and 
stored in barns, or stacked outdoors and covered with loose hay or 
canvas to protect them from the weather. The farmers tried to store as 
much hay as possible for the year and would store up to 500 bales in a 
good season. 

The progress in the fields showed great promise. The Valley was 
fertile and things were looking up. Then, earthquakes came and shook 
the land, floods came and went, drought and famine was everywhere 
and the dreaded revolution of the country happened. The people sur- 
vived and continued to live better each year. 



90 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Before the advent of the baler the Molokans in Guadalupe hauled the loose hay 
to the barn by hay wagons loaded with pitchforks. This machine revolutionized har- 
vesting. No longer was it necessary to handle loose hay and beside the advantages of 
saving labor, baled hay took up far less space. The baler was designed for small 
farmers and required a small capital outlay. Once the horse was taught to walk in 
circles, up to 50 bales of hay were baled daily. 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

Disk Harrow 

McCormick disk harrows were a very popular implement. It was available in 4- 
8 foot sizes to suit the needs of the farmer. Most of the Molokans used a smaller, 
lighter-weight two-horse design model for their gardens and grape plantation. 



Economy 



91 




Courtesy of the U.M.C.A. 

Buck or bull rake 

Bill Potsakayeff is operating the rake that was built with wooden tines 7 to 8 feet 
long and spaced about one foot apart. The three wheel side hitch sweep rake illus- 
trated here was built from 1904 to 1918. One horse walked on each side of the unit. 
The operator was seated at the rear of the machine and lifted (he wooden tines off the 
ground as the were filled with hay. Guadalupe did not use this machine until the late 
1920s. When it was introduced, only a few families bought them. The machine elimi- 
nated the loading of the wagon rack and brought the stacked hay to the baler. 



CHAPTER FOURTEEN 



EQUIPMENT AND REPAIR 
GUADALUPE STYLE 



Almost every Molokan ranch had a workshop with tools for farm 
machinery repair. The Molokans helped each other fix farm equip- 
ment and exchanged their work time rather than wages. Almost every 
household had the skills to repair and maintain their homes and fulfill 
the needs for work within the colony. The Molokan community helped 
not only themselves, but worked for other nearby farmers as well. 

After December, the first plowing and sowing of the wheat crop 
began and dependent upon the weather, the farmers would usually 
finish around February. In March, fences were built around the fields 
to keep animals from damaging crops. In April, after Passover, they 
mowed the hay and placed it in storage as feed for their horses. Finally, 
in June, harvest season began and the binder machines, which were 
maintained throughout the year, were put to use. Six horses were set 
to a grain binder and four horses to a wagon rack. The binder ma- 
chine would raise the wheat to the rack and in one trip around the 
field, the rack would be full. The rack was then emptied onto 15-by- 
1 5-foot pallets with pitchforks. Once the wheat was harvested, it was 
threshed with old threshers belt-driven by either Titan or Mugul sin- 
gle piston motors also known as chuck-chucks. More modern equip- 
ment was eventually purchased such as Case and Fordson tractors. 
The wheat was stored as seed grain for the following year and the rest 
was taken to the mills to be sold. 

Every Molokan home contained an anvil in their blacksmith 
shop where they made horse eveners which were bars of wood and 
steel that equalized the pulling of plows, wagons or other farming 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



93 



equipment between the horses. More attention was given to the hitch 
than any other accessory. Farmers and blacksmiths alike attempted to 
design hitches that assured each animal would pull its equal share. 
Various jobs required different types of hitches, particularly when 
more than four horses were required. The two-horse evener was sim- 
ple to design and build, but the three-horse evener required more 
study and effort. Because the Molokans always lived and worked on 
the farms and they were their own blacksmiths, they quickly learned 
how to build the eveners. They first built them with wood, and later 
they were made out of iron. 




««iiWI 



VH 



Hoosier seed drill 

Disk grain or seed drill were popular styles in Guadalupe and were introduced 
around 1915 and continued into the 1920s. Its unique fluted force-feed cup and 
adjustable throat featured a design that fit any seed from oat, barley or wheat. The 
adjustments were simple and easy to make. A power transmission provided fast and 
slow speeds for regulating the feed rate. A variety of furrow openers were available as 
were a number of attachments. A 8 hoosier double disk drill had a 1919 price of $150 
including a spring disk design which swung backward if it hit an obstruction so as not 
to break it. In Guadalupe they used the 8 disk size drafter with four horses and there 
was a footboard in the rear. Where the driver stood and watched the operation. A 
chain which was pulled from behind covering the seed to the right depth. A further 
advantage of the drill was the ability to place the seed at the proper depth, because 
different plants required different depths. 



94 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 








Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Molokan farmer Vasilli I. Mohoff with a team of 10 horses. The horses are on a 
tandem chain evener designed for six horses abreast and four leading built especially 
for plowing. This 1900-10 Stockton Red plow was available in two sizes with a choice 
of four or five furrows. A team of 10 horses was needed to pull a five plow unit, called 
a red plow and a team of eight horses was needed for a set of four , or blue plow. More 
than 4-feet of ground was turned over with each pass of the plow. Instead of hydrau- 
lics, the plowman walked the plow platform raising and lowering the plow gangs by 
hand, leveling and making other adjustments as they went. The plow had a cast iron 
wheel and tail wheel. Counterbalancing springs helped make the depth and ground 
furrow adjustments easier. There was always a surplus of shares because in hard soil, 
rocks would bend or break them and they would have to be replaced. 




Courtesy of Fae Korctoll 

Stockton plow (red) 

Moises H. Nazaroffs farm with relatives from Los Angeles; Fae and Joe Kore- 
toff, Hazel Bibayeff 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



95 



TlI.«PMONC» 

HOMC A 3941 
BnoAOWAT 1713 



M r- Paul mvik-off. 



Los Angeles, Cal , Dec. 4t}l, 



.191A. 



E n a e r.ad a 3 a j a C a l . , Mex . 



To w^dDcuda ^ Cosnpaaiy Dr. 

Incorpormtad 

QEMBBAL AGK.NTS 

^'^inoiia-Ruakford ^/V^agons, Acme Farm Machinery 

Racme-Sattley Line 

127 S. LOS ANGELES ST. 



10-1/4 X a"-Stocktor. Plow Shares at .60 ea. 4 6.00. 

4-Lar.d.3ides-2-a-for Stockton Plow at .25 ea. 1.00. 

12- Share Bolta , at .02-1/2 ea. .30. 

1/2-Ton BarbPd-Wire 35.00 . 

Tocal 'j-.i. " 42.30. 

Goods shipped to Ensenada, L. C. ISex. _ 




Peg and spring tooth harrows 

Harrowing the soil was an essential part of planting. After a hard rain the soil 
would seal, the ground would become hard not letting the plant out and it would die. 
This method broke up the soil and let the seedling out, yet it had a reputation for also 
being the most tiring. Walking behind a harrow after hours of chores, only left enough 
time for a night's sleep before starting again. International closed end harrows were 
built from 1916 to 1957 and the design was exceptionally rugged and built to last 
many years of use. Two sizes were available with a choice of 4 or 5 feet. These sections 
contained 97 to 110 teeth respectively. Complete units were available in up to three 



96 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



sections wide. Total coverage of 12 to 15 feet in 1929 had a price of $37.50 for all 
three. Matching harrow size to available horsepower usually meant one harrow sec- 
tion allowed to one horse. 




:*V 




Hay racks; wagons 

John, Jim and George Bibayeff 

This type of wagon was popular on the Guadalupe farms. They carried hay 
from the field to the baler and also wheat grain from binders to threshing floor. They 
were also used to feed horses. By driving the wagon into a ditch so the horses could 
reach over the side to eat. 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



97 




Courtesy of Issai Mohoff 

Vasilli Mohoff with son Issai display sacks of wheat harvested in 1950 when life 
began to change in the Valley. Eddie and Issai Mohoff (back row, from left), Daniel 
Kornoff, Sarah and Nydia Mohoff, Daniel Mohoff (front row), Jay J. and John A. 
Kornoff. 




Courtesy of June D. Saiiiann 

Sterling thresher machine 

Vasilli I. Mohoff, John J. Samaduroff, Moisei Samarin, Onya Samarin. The 



98 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



grain feeder, Vasilli I. Samaduroff, hay stacker, Moises Samaduroff, grain pitcher, 
Miguel Samarin and Ivan P. Samaduroff Bundle pitchers are working from both 
sides of the machine. Almost every family in Guadalupe owned one of these threshing 
machines and most owned an engine to run it. The Sterling number 26 is equipped 
with a low elevator and bagging spouts and is shown in operation. It was easily 
moved, making it simple for small farmers to band together in a threshing ring. This 
Sterling was simple, using few belts and required little maintenance. The machines 
were constructed from wood and manufactured from 1913 to 1925. Hand feeding was 
required with the feed table and footboard evident at the front. Four men were needed 
for this operation, one to feed the machine, one to load the table, one grain bagger 
and one to remove the straw. As much as 60 sacks of 100 pounds was threshed daily. 





Courtesy of Harry J. Shubin 

Grain binder 

Grain binders, Champion and McCormick, were the two best binders that were 
used the most. The Champion push binder and headers were built until about 1907. 
The header is at work in a wheat field. The cut grain was elevated directly into a 
wagon. Note the sloping sides used on the wagon rack. By working the grain to the 
high sides of the rack, the extra large loads were possible. The job of loading the grain 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



99 



wagons was strenuous as well as dusty. There were three conveyors. A large conveyor 
carried the cut grain directly from the header platform to the elevator; then two 
conveyors took the grain through the elevator and to the wagon rack. One grain 
binder kept three wagon racks busy. These binders were drafted by six horses, three 
horses on each side pulled the machine from the rear A large main wheel operated the 
entire system. Standing, the driver at the back of the rig orchestrated the whole 
operation. During harvest, the machine only turned to the right. To make a 90 degree 
turn, he held back the horses at his right, pulling the rear wheel to the left to complete 
his turn without missing any of the harvest. If the manpower was available, the thresh- 
ing would be done at the same time as the harvesting. This would take about 12 men. 
The binders usually cut the grain just below the heads leaving most of the straw in the 
field, and this was not wasted. After the harvest was complete the field was used for 
pasture land. 




Courtesy of June D. Samaiin 

Nikolai D. Agalsoff is the operator or the grain binder machine making a 90 
degree right turn. 



100 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 





Courtesy of David T. Samarin 

Horse- Powered Machine 

Farmer, Serghey A. Filatoff Jr., Maria D, Raquel D., Hania A., and Hania A. 
Filatoff. Also Serghey A. Filatoff Sr. and Ivan I Volkoff. San Antonio. 



K 






i.,!..-t. 2'il . POA£'7, eighr-fioric tendon chain acrner, jar four hur^a ixhrca^t <jnj Jhut Ididrng 




Eveners 

A great deal of attention was given to the hitch to design one that distributed 
each animal's pulling of the load. Different jobs required different eveners. The two 
horse evener was simple to design and build but others required more study Only the 
highest quality wood was suitable for this tool and was heavily reinforced with iron. 
Steel eveners were available in later years. 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



101 




Courtesy of June Samarin 

Fearless Tread Horse-Powered Machine 

The first threshing machine was operated by tread power which took advantage 
of a horses weight. An inclined platform, called the bridge, consisted of an endless 
chain of planks that revolved as the animal stepped forward and upward. Fearless 
manufactured in sizes to accommodate two and three horses. A model of the mid to 
late 1850 to 1920 is shown. It was possible to thresh 40 100 pound sacks of wheat a 
day. The manufacturer of this outfit was the empire agricultural work of Cobleskill, 
New York. A firm founded in the 1840s, there were two of these in Guadalupe. This 
one was owned by Vasilli G. Mohoff and the other was owned by the Filatoff family of 
San Antonio. On the other side of the tread platform was a big fly wheel a pulley 
attached to it and belted to the threshing machine with a smaller pulley was used to 
increase the speed. The biggest horses were picked for this job because it was a tiring 
job. The horses would never stop walking as long as there was grain before them as an 
incentive. 



102 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Titan engine Model 1911-17 

This farm scene was typical for many years. When the wind refused to blow 
there was no choice but to pump water by hand or belt an engine to pump water. 
Titan hopper cooled engine was 10 to 12 horsepower size and the engine shown here 
was equipped with webster magnet, available on special order. Regular equipment 
included a battery and ignition system. Although the engine weighed 2,000 pounds, it 
had a rated speed of 300 RPMs. The Titan horizontal tank cooler was built only in 
gasoline burning models and the engine could be started at a moments notice, some- 
times. Not shown is the 2 1/2 horsepower mogul engine was fully equipped and 
capable of handling the majority of small farm jobs. Weighing nearly 700 pounds, it 
had a 22 inch flywheel and top operating speed of 500 RPMs. The Molokans used 
these smaller engines to irrigate their gardens. 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



103 





Case-threshing machine 

Owners Ivan P. Samaduroff and Vasilli I. Mohof. This model 1926-32 case 
framework was constructed of sheet metal and steel side pieces. The 28-inch by 48- 
inch size threshing machine was built with the self feeder and wind staker folded up. 
Band cutter and feeding pan moved the grain into the cylinder. The grain pan be- 
neath the cylinder extended to the rear of the machine carrying the grain to sieves and 
dropping it into the clean zone. The slatted straw racks assured that the grain was 
separated from the straw before finally dropping it into the wind stacker In this early 
1944 threshing scene a case is at work with an international four cylinder type F 
engine on the belt. Ball bearings reduced friction, thus requiring less horsepower to 
do the job. Grain threshing machines were very expensive to buy. Although mainte- 
nance was relatively low, if given the proper care. In 1935 this sold for more than 
$1,000 used, weighed 5,400 pounds and was difficult to transport from one farm to 
another Disassemblement was necessary to take some of the weight off. The machine 
produced more than 120 one hundred pound sacks daily There were two other 
threshing machines made of sheet metal with self feeding and wind staker that were 
smaller, 24 by 32. One belonged to the Klistoff family in San Antonio and the other 
was owned by Tolmasoffs in San Marcos. 



104 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Fae Karetoff 

Case Threshing Machine 

George Mohoff (from left), Moisie Nazaroff 




Combines 

There were harvester-thresher machines, (combines) built through 1925. The 
early models were ground driven, auxiliary engines were far better as they maintained 
a constant speed necessary for efficient threshing. Combines were drawn by eight to 
10 horses. The machine had a 9-foot cutting width and the harvester featured an 
international four cylinder, type F engine as standard equipment. There were only 
two of these combines in Guadalupe and they were not very popular because they 
spread straw throughout the field along with weed seed. 



Equipment and Repair — Guadalupe Style 



105 







Courtesy of George Mohoff 

This Ford 1945 model was one of the first tractors that came to Guadalupe to 
replace horses. This photo was taken in Ensenada, exiting the dealership. The driver 
is George Mohoff 



CHAPTER FIFTEEN 



WEATHER AND ITS EFFECTS 



Weather can be a farmer's best friend, or his worst enemy. If the 
weather is good, there will be a large yield of crops. However, if the 
weather is bad, the farmer may loose his entire crop and be broke for 
the year. In early Guadalupe there was no means of irrigation and and 
the farmers depended entirely upon rain. The ability of a farmer to 
forecast weather was essential. There were no radios in Guadalupe to 
listen for weather changes. If a farmer had prior knowledge of weather 
conditions, he could speed up or delay his work. Some Molokans were 
very good at weather prediction and they would watch animal behav- 
ior such as birds gathering or donkeys running about. Even aching 
muscles were an indication of coming bad weather. 

Guadalupe Valley suffered one of the worst droughts from 1931 
to 1933. The drought affected all of Baja California. Because there 
was no irrigation, the lack of rain caused the crops to wither and die. 
The water table dropped, streams and ponds became bone dry and 
animals suffered from lack of water. Food became scarce and hundreds 
of Molokans had no place to turn. The pasture lands did not have 
grass so the hot, dry winds from the north blew away the rich top soil. 
The winds would pick up the loose soil and carry it miles away creat- 
ing a dust storm and hot, dry air. Sometimes the dust clouds were so 
thick it was impossible to see through them. Another drought in 1944 
brought additional damage to all of Baja California. It continued until 
the summer of 1947. Another severe drought hit in 1950 and lasted 
until 1954 taking thousands of animals with it. However, the Molo- 
kans would not give up. They borrowed wheat seed from each other 
for the coming season. In these early years there were no banks or 



Weather and Its Effects 



107 




Courtesy of Ana Nesterenko 

Frances and Pearl Kornoff ride in a carriage built for three. This was taken in 
1933 during a severe drought. 




Courtesy of Fenia Rogoff 

Andrey and Jim Rogoff Mule-powered carriage was built from a front axle of 
an old car. 



108 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

investors to loan the farmers money. Yet, somehow, they always man- 
aged to harvest some wheat seed from the drought season to be 
planted the following year. 

In times of hardship as well as in times of peace, the Molokan 
elders taught the people, through their own lives, a strong faith in God 
and a reliance On him in all things. They said to always seek his help 
and guidance. By doing so the loving presence and mercy of the Heav- 
enly Father was upon the Molokans of Mexico. He never failed the 
colony and answered all their prayers according to his will. 

This is an example of a prophecy that was told to me by my 
father that was fulfilled in about 1912. I was just a young lad at the 
time. We planted our wheat fields which were dependent upon rain for 
irrigation because we did not have modern means yet for such large 
fields. It was a dry season and our crops failed to mature into a good 
harvest. We harvested just enough to sustain us, seed for planting, 
flour, and feed for livestock. There was not enough to sell. 

There was a great drought upon us and the wheat crop was not 
coming up. Our elders were concerned and called a meeting at the 
church to decide what to do. The decision was made that the entire 
brotherhood would fast for three days. On the third day a prayer 
would be held on an open field asking that rain be sent to water our 
fields. The prophet (prarok), moved by the Holy Spirit said that it was 
necessary for there to be a preemereneeya — an asking for forgiveness. 
Each member of the colony must first ask each other for forgiveness, 
and then ask God for forgiveness. Each person was to come before 
God with a clean heart and soul, without malice toward any of his 
brothers or sisters in Christ, and bring their prayer and petition asking 
God to send rain. The elders believed the prophets, accepted the mes- 
sage from the Lord and fulfilled its instruction. 

Early Sunday morning everyone gathered at the church. From 
the eldest of the colony to the babies in the mother's arm, no person 
was left at home. Together, they walked to the designated field for the 
prayer. Everyone took their respective places on the field as if they 
were in church. The minister began the prayer service. Once again a 
prophet moved by the Holy Spirit said "Brothers and Sisters, you 
cannot fool God, not every soul here has fulfilled the asking of forgive- 
ness. The Lord requires everyone to ask forgiveness of one another 
and hold no malice toward anyone." Again, the call was made for the 
preemeereneeya. The persons who had held back in the first pre- 
emeereneeya came forward and asked for forgiveness of one another 
and of God. Then, with a strong and tearful petition and prayer, we 



Weather and Its Effects 



109 



asked God to send the rain. As the prayer finished we noticed clouds 
began to gather over the horizon from the direction of the ocean. We 
began to leave the field and return to our church, which was about 
three miles, and by the time we reached the church, the rain had come 
and drenched us. We were soaking wet. Our Lord God sent us the 
rain and watered our parched wheat fields and brought our crops into 
an abundant harvest. 

The Lord showed us his mercy right before our eyes. This I 
witnessed while I was young and it has been left for to me for remem- 
ber all of my days. Among us that day there were two or three people 
of a different faith who did not believe as we did. They made remarks 
laughing as they came along with us to the field for the prayer. "We 
are bringing our umbrellas with us for the Spiritual Molokans prophe- 
sied there will be rain on this hot, sunny day and we don't want to get 
wet," they laughed. And the Lord obliged them to use their umbrellas. 

It was believed that if one asks the Lord about anything, and 
believing with a clean heart and trusting the Lord to answer, he does. 
Although rain was a necessity for life in the Valley, farmers also feared 
it. Just as there were droughts, there were floods. In the nearly 65 
years the Molokans spent in Guadalupe, there were four floods. The 



^ 





Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Flood in 1938. Alenjandro Kachirsky, Vasilli Nazaroff, Alexsay Samaduroff, 
Mosies Rogoff and Miguel Samarin 



1 10 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

rivers would grow with heavy rains and flow over the hillside. Down 
the main street of the colony, the water would get 3- to 4-feet deep. It 
caused severe damage to homes, crops and roads. These storms hap- 
pened about every 15 to 20 years. They usually occurred in March 
and continued through the spring. Water from the melting snow in the 
Sierras combined with the heavy rains in the local mountains would 
raise the level of water above the riverbanks. After each flood the river 
would change its course and often carry off the rich top soil, leaving 
the land barren. There was no way to prepare for these sudden, vio- 
lent floods and it destroyed many properties and crops. The course of 
the Guadalupe River in the upper slope of the channel is steep and the 
current is swift. The waters would carry away sand, gravel and trees. 





Ten days after water receded from the flood of April 1980. 



CHAPTER SIXTEEN 



BUSY AT HOME 



Molokan men and women had a different social status among the 
community, but shared responsibihties. For all practical purposes, the 
families of the Valley had a patriarchal structure. Often the men in 
Guadalupe Valley were away from home for five or six days at a time 
tending crops. While they were away, even more responsibility fell on 
the shoulders of the women. Although there was a fairly distinct divi- 
sion of labor between men and women, this became less apparent 
during the mens' absence. In addition, this could be the roots as to 
why a Molokan woman traditionally took her place beside the man. In 
general, the women worked harder and were responsible for more. She 
was responsible for housework, preparing food, tending the animals, 
preparing for winter, raising the children, donating to charities, ar- 
ranging weddings and funerals, as well as other religious festivities 
and often worked beside the men in the fields. While the men were 
primarily concerned with finding sources of income, the women were 
responsible for maintaining a smooth-running household while sup- 
porting his goal. 

The women in Mexico had a tremendous amount of chores 
around the house, including raising children. There was no doctor in 
the Valley so the women often played nurse, doctor and pharmacist. 
The only "medicine" used was menthalatum and aspirin, the rest of 
the remedies were natural medicines made from herbs and tradition. 
Many of the cures used for illnesses were handed down from ancestors. 
Before 1930, practically no Molokan in Guadalupe went to the doctor 
or took medicine. Following are some of the cures, customs and beliefs 
in caring for the sick: 



112 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



When an individual had a headache, turnips were sliced up and 
placed on the person's forehead. For a toothache, some bread was 
mixed with salt and chewed or spread onto the aching area. If a tooth 
had to be removed, a string was attached to the tooth and the other 
end was tied to a door knob, and the door was slammed. Sometimes 
the door had to be slammed twice. If that did not work, a pair of pliers 
came in handy. For fractures and dislocations, the injured area was 
rubbed well with hot water and soap. Flour and egg were mixed to- 
gether to make a poultice which was bound onto the fractured area. 
For a back ache, glasses were heated then immediately placed on the 
person's sore back for a short period of time. Zalatuga was a swelling 
of the throat which usually occured in winter. The remedy was the 
same as it was for tumors. Onions, ashes, flax seed and milk were 
mixed together and applied to the swollen portion of the body. If the 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Eloise Mohoff bred more than 250 domestic birds which was one of the largest 
flocks in Guadalupe. 



Busy at Home 



113 



injured person had a fever, a poultice was made from bread yeast and 
applied to the head. For body swelling without a rash, a mixture was 
made from bread yeast and it was applied to the swollen portion of the 
body. Malaria was treated with a wild flower made into hot tea and 
stomach aches were cured with a mixture of white alum diluted in 
water and mixed with lemon crystals. Some of the older people in the 
community would refuse to take an aspirin, no matter the pain. "I 
never put such a thing in my mouth, and I recommend that you don't 
either," they would say. 

Women's chores also included taking care of poultry. They had to 
watch that coyotes would not prey on their flock. If coyotes came, the 
chickens ran clucking and the women would scare the predators off. In 
the evening, they were fed grain which resulted in hens producing eggs 
enriched with vitamins. The hens were raised naturally, without 
chemicals or hormones, and were tasty and healthy. The Molokans 
had plenty of eggs for their own use, and usually left two dozen eggs in 
a nest for hatching. When they became fryers, they were butchered by 
the husband or son. The fryers made a delicious meal. The women 
were very resourceful and used the chicken feathers for pillows and 
mattresses called "perienie." 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Masha and Alexsay M. Dalgoff kept the largest flock of geese in the colony. 



114 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Vera Kornoff 

Eloisa , Basilio Mohoff and Vera Kornoff are among the lush fruit trees and 
vegetables. 




Courtesy of Dorthy Suprunick 

Andrey, (in rear), John and Mary, Alexie and Dunia Kornoff, Esther G. Sa- 
marin, Tania, Vera, Katie, Dorthy, Parania, Ana and Frances Kornoffs. 



Busy at Home 



115 



Beside cash crops the Molokans planted gardens for their own 
consumption. Each household had a one- or two-acre garden to tend 
to. Some of the vegetables grown were cabbage, cucumbers, olives, 
onions, lentils, peppers, radishes, tomatoes, lettuce and sunflowers. 
Sunflower seeds were introduced to the Valley by the Molokans. Origi- 
nally, they grew them for their own use, but the taste for seeds spread 
to the natives. The women, with the children's help, cultivated and 
seeded the garden. After the initial seeding, the children weeded and 
watered the garden. Since the colony was nestled in a valley, the gar- 
dens were relatively protected from the cold weather, although they 
had to be fenced as protection from rabbits, squirrels and other ani- 
mals. Before vegetables were planted in the garden, the area was 
plowed and heavily fertilized. Fertilizer came from corrals and hen 
houses and did not cost the farmers a cent. 

The produce from the garden was used for a variety of foods. 
Cabbage and tomatoes were diced and used in borsch. Cabbage was 
used in nachinkas, salonka (lamb and sauerkraut) and other dishes. 
Some cucumbers were eaten fresh and others were pickled in vinegar. 
Olives were also canned, green or ripe, and eaten throughout the year. 
Any surplus from the garden was not thrown away, but canned and 




Courtesy of Fienia Rogoff 

Guadalupe Tomato Sauce Cannery 

George J. Rogoff, Manya A., baby Alejandro Samarin, Fienia Rogoff, Alex 
Babashoff, Esther A., Tanya A., and Tania I. Samarin cooking tomato sauce which 
was placed in five gallon cans and stored for later use. 



116 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



preserved for the coming winter. Produce from the garden was also 
used for long-term purposes because there were no produce stores 
nearby. The closest complete grocery supply was located in San 
Diego — 75 miles away. There was only one store in Guadalupe run by 
a local Mexican family. There were no other stores in the village where 
one could buy or sell items. If there was anything the Molokans 
needed that was not available at the store, they had to go to Ensenada 
or San Diego. The primary weekly purchases at the store were kero- 
sene, salt, sugar, tea, matches, candy and soda. Sometimes there was 
an exchange of goods without money changing hands, such as a piece 
of chocolate for some eggs. The barter system was common amongst 
the Molokans as well as the locals. 

Canning vegetables was an important duty and the women were 
usually helped by the children. Cabbage that was not eaten was shred- 



^il.,^- 




Courtesy of June Samarin 

Vasilli I. Samaduroff milking his cows by hand. 



Busy at Home 



117 



ded and placed in 50 gallon wooden drums with salt to make sauer- 
kraut which stayed preserved for about one year. Pickles, tomatoes and 
olives were also canned and eaten throughout the year. 

Many of the Molokans raised cattle to provide milk for their 
families. Milking the cows was usually done once a day, early in the 
morning. The Molokans were fond of milk and dairy products such as 
cream, butter, sour cream and cheese. Most cows had their calves in 
the late spring. The cows would go out to the pasture between milking 
and the calves remained in a separate pasture from the cows. During 
this time an average of 20 cows would be milked and an average cow 
gave about a gallon and half of milk a day. A good milker could milk 
four or five cows in an hour. The milking was done in open corrals and 
the cow's legs and tail were tied with a rope to avoid getting whipped, 
or kicked, in the face. 

The milk was often set aside in vessels to await separation of the 
cream from the milk. This usually took 12 to 36 hours. Making cheese 
took about 15 gallons of milk and while the milk was warm, it was 
curdled using rennet tablets. Eventually, all the whey was squeezed 
out and the cheese was placed in a form. The process took three to 
four hours and the result was about 10 pounds of cheese. 

Because there were no refrigerators, the cheese was placed inside 
50 gallon wooden drums of salted water. The amount of salt was deter- 




Courtesy of Hazel Mohoff 

La Mission Cheese Factory 

Dunia V. Babeshoff, Maria, Julia, Julia T. , and Moises Babeshoff. The girls 
are making cheese. Far to the right is the round form used to squeeze the whey from 
the cheese applying the 2 by 4 board above the form with the proper weight as a press 
on one end. 



118 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



mined by placing a raw egg in the water and when the egg began to 
sink, salt was added until the egg floated. The barrels were then 
sealed, preserving the cheese for a full year. When the cheese was to be 
used, it was sliced into smaller pieces and placed in cold water for 
about 20 minutes to eliminate the salty flavor. The Molokans pro- 
duced and prepared much of their own food and usually the only items 
purchased were coffee, tea, sugar, rice, salt and some pasta. 

Saturday was the day usually devoted to making bread, but early 
Friday night, the women would prepare for the next day's duties by 
making yeast from a fragrant flower called hops (ghimel) which grew 
everywhere. The flower was boiled with water to make a paste then cut 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

One of the many ovens made of fire bricks that were in every house. 



Busy at Home 



119 



the paste into pieces the size of a walnut for it to dry. Once dry, hot 
water was added, it was mashed and allowed to ferment. This was an 
artificial yeast and could be preserved over a long period of time. The 
yeast was then kneaded into the flour mixture at a ratio of about one 
cup to every 12 pounds of flour. The mixture was was kneaded, then 
covered with a cloth and allowed to set, and six or eight hours later, it 
was put into a round form, weighing about 5 pounds each, and placed 
into the oven. The oven temperature had to be just right and loaves 
were then placed on the end of a long wooden paddle and placed, just 
perfectly, in the oven to bake. There was a certain expertise and physi- 
cal strength required in the correct placement of the loaves that was 
crucial to even baking. 

The ovens were hand built out of fire bricks and the correct 
temperature for baking bread was measured by the intensity of the fire 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Mary Samarin displays one of the 5 pound loaves of homemade bread. 



120 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Mary Babashoff 

Tanya I. Samarin manipulates the loaves of bread inside the oven with a long 
paddle. This type paddle with the L-shaped hoe is on display in the UMCA Library 
Heritage Room. 

built inside. After the boys gathered wood and lit the fire, they moved 
aside and the women would control the level of heat by spreading the 
coals about with a hoe (ka-chir-ga). This took a great deal of physical 
strength. Up to seven loaves of bread were expertly moved around to 
even out color. Gas-burning ovens were not used until the early 1940s. 

A standard piece of equipment in the household used was a 
Singer treadle sewing machine. The women sewed their own clothes 
and clothes for the family particularly when weather did not permit 
outdoor work. They also made their own bedspreads, pillow cases, 
dish towels, curtains and some women made church clothes. The ma- 
chines needed little maintenance, only oil and extra rolls of thread. All 
fabric was purchased in rolls from San Diego. Fabric from the U.S. 
had to go through customs and often the women spent most their 
money on fabric, leaving little for custom fees. The thinnest women 
would wrap themselves up in the fabric to try and avoid paying heavy 
taxes. Occasionally, a border patrol officer was heard commenting on 
how fat the Russian women were. 

Using the wool of a sheep, the ladies of the Valley would get 
together to make blankets. First, the wool was washed, dried and 



Busy at Home 



121 



brushed, then the blankets were made by hand sewing. About four 
women could sew one blanket in a single day. The women often as- 
sisted each other and when one asked a neighbor for help, there was 
never a refusal. 

Women also made their own soap. All the animal fats and waste 
were saved in the household and placed into a caldron with water. The 
mixture was boiled with lye which was made from ashes. After awhile, 
the liquid was tested by dropping some into a bowl of cold water to see 
if it remained solid. When ready, the liquid was taken from the fire 
and cdlowed to cool and harden then was cut into cakes or bars. The 
soap was either brown, yellow or gray in color. 

Every day was devoted to a different job. Monday was primarily 
the day to do the family laundry. The washing began early in the 
morning with a big fire started beneath an iron tub to heat water used 
for washing. The tub was cut from a 50-gallon steel drum and was set 
on rocks with crossed iron bars. It was situated near the water well and 
near the banya where the dirty clothes were often kept. The fire was 
kept going by pushing the long logs further beneath the tub as they 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Masha I. Samarin, Hania Samarin, Masha H. Evdokimoff, Fienia K. Bibay- 
eff, Ulasha T. Mohoff, Natiya Mohoff, Nastiya Samaduroff and Ivan P. Samaduroff. 
Brushing lamb's wool to make a quilt blanket. 



122 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

burned. When the water was hot, the washtub was filled with clothes 
and left to soak. A washboard was placed over the tub and each piece 
was pulled from the tub, placed onto the washboard, soaped and 
scrubbed. White clothes were washed first in boiling water with a 
small amount of lye added to brighten them and remove any stains. 
Long broom handles were used to stir the clothes around and for 
removing pieces of clothing. The nearby clothesline was usually con- 
structed out of barbed wire and were as long as 100 feet. Often they 
were tied from the windmill to the nearest tree. Long poles were 
placed in the center to support the wire and hoist the lines higher to 
help dry the clothes faster in the breeze. On a rainy day, the wash was 
done on the porch. 

Ironing was often done on the same day. Clothes were sprinkled 
with water and rolled and placed in a pillowcase the night before or 
later that afternoon. In the early days, irons were large, cumbersome 
and coal-heated. The ironing was done on the kitchen table which was 
covered with a blanket. Later, the irons used were flat and could be 
heated by placing them on top of the burners of the stove. Although 
they were much lighter, there was still no heating control element and 
great care was needed so clothes were not burned. In the late 1930s, 
the gas iron was introduced to the colony. It was easier to control and 
was used until the 1950s when electricity came to Guadalupe. 

Children on the Guadalupe farms would also rise with the sun. 
Dressed in overalls, they would walk past the kitchen and hear their 
mother preparing breakfast. They smelt the eggs frying in the skillet 
and biscuits baking in the oven. Outside a mockingbird was heard 
singing in a corner of the barn and a hungry calf was bawling for its 
morning food. Father was already pitching forkfuls of hay down a 
chute to the hungry animals in the stalls below. The boys knew they 
must first carry hay to the horses. Then, feed the cows while father 
milks them and carry buckets of milk to the house, with the exception 
of one. From the bucket of milk left behind the calf is taught to drink 
from it. The calfs nose is pushed into the warm milk and the calf 
blows and sneezes until finally it learns to drink. Together the children 
feed the chickens. After the chores are completed, the family sits down 
together to enjoy their morning meal. After breakfast, the children 
changed clothes and left for school. In the evening, the same chores 
are repeated and the family again sat down together for dinner. After 
helping with the dishes, the children would do their homework and go 
to sleep. 



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 



POPULAR DISHES 



Anything eaten by the Molokans had to be kosher. The reUgion 
dictates certain food laws according to the Old Testament including 
not eating pork or meat from an animal that does not have cloven 
hooves and chew its cud; no shellfish such as shrimp and lobster; and 
scaleless fish including catfish or eel. Molokan nutrition in Mexico was 
based on locally-grown crops and some dishes they learned to make in 
the old country. Some recipes were limited because of climate and food 
available. Borsch was a common dish eaten by the Russians. A piece 
of meat, about eight pounds, or two chickens, or ducks, or one goose 
was placed in a kettle of water to boil. The meat was removed and 
placed in the oven. Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, bellpeppers, 
tomatoes, celery and cabbage were added to the broth to make the 
soup in the traditional manner. 

The wheat grown was used to make flour and was washed twice 
to ensure it was clean of bugs and dirt. It was then placed on a large 
canvas and dried for two days. Thereafter, the flour was used to make 
bread and noodles. Noodle soup (or lapsha) was another popular dish. 
The dough was rolled out very thin and dried by the heat of the oven. 
The dough was then rolled into a circular shape, then folded in half 
about four times and then long, thin pieces were sliced off of the end 
with a very sharp knife. The noodles were supposed to be uniform in 
width, yet as long as possible. Some women were praised for their 
ability to make long, thin, perfectly-flavored noodles. A broth was 
prepared by boiling meat in water, then removing the meat as a sepa- 
rate dish. The lapsha was added to the boiling broth and stirred con- 
tinuously to prevent burning. 



124 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

Cabbage meat rolls (who-loop-si) was also a very well-liked tradi- 
tional dish. Ground beef and rice were used as filling that was 
wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked in water, tomatoe sauce and 
other vegetables and seasonings. Also popular with the Molokans was 
Shashlick, rice (kasha), and different types of turnovers (natchinki). 
Coffee was considered a staple to the Molokans and was bought raw in 
100 pound sacks. A one week supply was roasted every Saturday and 
ground every day as the pot was made. A fresh pot was only served on 
Sunday, then, each day new grounds were added to the old grounds to 
make that day's coffee. 

Food was served in one large bowl placed in the center of the 
table where people dipped into it with their wooden spoons. This was 
the method of eating used at home and in the churches until about 
1935. After that time, everyone used a separate bowl or plate. Coffee 
or tea was poured from the glass into the saucer and sipped. Food such 
as vegetables were eaten with fmgers, no forks were used. To salt the 
food, everybody took their own pinch of salt from a small bowl on the 
table and set it on the table next to them. The food was then dipped 
into it. Most of these customs have since been abandoned except by 
the very old. Nobody was allowed to eat until the entire family was 
seated at the table and then they stood together as a prayer was recited. 



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN 



VACATION AND RECREATION 



Work was not the only thing the people of the Guadalupe Valley 
did. There was a certain amount of simple entertainment for both the 
young and old. After work and chores were finished for the day, the 
Molokans enjoyed spending time with each other and the primary 
form of recreation was visiting friends and relatives. This was most 
common on Sunday afternoons. Parents would visit their children, or 
grandchildren, or vice-versa. If weather permitted, the guests sat on 
benches outside the home and would talk, or sing church songs. This 
was an idecd time for the young boys and girls to practice their skills in 



(^ **? 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Jenny Evdokimoff, John Rogoff, Hazel Evdokimoff, Alex Mohoff, Fienia Na- 
zarofT, Vasilli Samaduroff, Katsya Mohoff, Moises Samarin go horseback riding. 



126 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Anna Nesterenko 

The children of Alexsay Kornoff and Alexsay Kobzeff enjoy their hay ride. In 
the Guadalupe colony hay rides were one of the summers many frequent recreational 
activities. Both children and teens alike enjoyed them. An old hay rack was mounted 
on a rickety farm wagon and pulled by a couple fast horses. When the wagon went 
down the main street the children would scream to attract more children. 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Miguel Buckroff, Maria Samarin, Maria Buckroff, Gregory Bibayeff, Maria 
Agalsoff and Jim Bibayeff There were only a few bicycles in the colony. 



Vacation and Recreation 



127 



W^ii 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

Andrey Babeshoff, Hazel Babeshoff, and George Mohoff on horseback. 



128 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Jl^ 







Courtesy of Anna Nesterenko 

Bill Kobzeff, Anna Kornoff, Esther Kobzeff, Alice, Nora, Vera, Iffim Kobzeff 
and Vera K. Slivkoff in Ensenada bringing corn stocks as feed for their cattle from 
the field. 

singing or reading Russian. The older people would either join in, 
relax or take naps. The visitors usually stayed for coffee and snacks. 
Snacks were typically served about 4 p.m. and included tomatoes and 
cucumbers, bread and jam, sour cream, butter, hard-boiled eggs and 
pastries. 

The neighbors of the Russian colony remember fondly the Rus- 
sian songs. On Saturday nights, they would sit very still and listen as 
the voices carried through the valley. They were interested in the Mol- 
okans and had many wonderful memories of walking down the main 
street on Sunday morning and hearing the Molokan church songs. 
The valley lies in a little cup and the music would echo off the sides of 
the valley in near perfect resonance. 

If there was no special service in church, often a host would 
invite up to 10 couples over after morning church. Saturday was spent 
preparing for the festivities and Sunday the woman of the house would 
get up early to prepare the meal, which could take four or five hours. 
If a guest came from Los Angeles nearly everybody in the community 
would have him over for either a meal, or to spend the night. The 
guest was treated like royalty and would be fed so well, they would 
return to America many pounds heavier. 



Vacation and Recreation 



129 



In August, many of the colonists would prepare for their month- 
long vacation at Aguas Calientes (hot springs). They would pack their 
bags, their kitchens and their domestic animals and head for the hot 
waters about 15 miles out of the colony. The spot was set in a beautiful 
gorge at the foot of the canyon. A river flowed down the center of the 
canyon and past the hot springs and up the mountain was a waterfall. 
Until roads were made into the campsite with picks and shovels, visi- 
tors had to haul in all their belongings by hand, horseback and cart. 
Each family would set up their tent with an arbor made from cotton- 
wood branches for shade and in the center of the campsite, a makeshift 
hen house was built to protect the fowls from coyotes. Below the can- 
yon there were six hot springs varying in degrees from 100 to 140 
degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the minerals, the water's scent was like 
that of boiled eggs. 

The Molokans went to the hot springs in groups of five to 10 
families and camped at the foot of the mountain. Sometimes a thun- 
derstorm would strike and a downpour of rain would cause flash 
floods. The early risers to the hot springs dug holes for hot water pools 
and covered them with verandas to provide shade and privacy. The 







Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Hot Springs 

Ulasha Mohoff, Esvera Samarin, Paul Samarin and Pete Mohoff at the camp 
ground. 



130 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 





Courtesy of Pauline Konov 

Hot springs were located 12 miles from the Guadalupe Valley. The first ten 
miles were on horsewagon and the last two everything had to be hauled by hand or 
horseback carefully, including bedding, food, and domestic animals. The road was 
cleared of some boulders with picks and shovels by the first family that got there every 
season. 



Vacation and Recreation 



131 






Courtesy of June Samarin 

Hot Springs 

James Samarin, John Belakoff and John Samaduroff soaking in a hot water 
pool. 



pool was dug near where the hot waters were generated and were 
about 4-by-5-feet and 2-feet deep. The pools were then bordered with 
rocks and as bathers relaxed in the pool, natural jets would bubble 
around the body. Fresh drinking water was hauled in from a spring 
about one mile away. During winter, the Guadalupe River rose about 
50 feet and completely covered the hot springs, thus nobody could visit 
this spot during that time. At the top of the mountain was a large 
crater about 100-feet in diameter and about 200-feet deep. During 
summer and in drought years, it was one big empty hole, but in 
winter, it was full of crystal clear water and created an impressive, 
refreshing waterfall. 

While parents relaxed in the springs, the children were off hiking 
in the mountains in search of edible plants and herbs. There was one 
plant called barrel cactus that the children would search for along with 



132 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



^'***'— -«*^, 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

Hot Springs 

George Mohoff and his horse Talacho. Behind him are the verandas that cover 
the hot water pool for privacy and shade. 

wild mint, so they could make candy. The herbs were brought home 
and skinned then their mothers would boil it and add sugar and some 
honey to make candy. There were many fresh water streams where the 
boys fished for trout with homemade fishing poles with safety pins 
used as hooks. 

There was also much recreation within the Guadalupe colony. 
After work many would head to the lake or the river to swim, or sit in 
the shade of the trees. During spring, wild turnips grew in fields and 
the children were sent to the fields to pick them. Each child would pick 
as many as was possible to carry home in a gunny sack. The tops of 
the long, white turnips were used to feed the poultry and the turnips 
were peeled, soaked in vinegar and olive oil and served at the dinner 



Vacation and Recreation 



133 



^% 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Hot Springs 

A dam made from holders and mud to raise the water level, so the children had 
a place to swim. The water temperature was about 90 degrees. 



.f 'f 





Courtesy of Vera Kornoff 

Vera Mohoff, Esther Samarin and Issai Mohoff bring home gunny sacks of wild 
turnips 

table. To the children, hunting turnips was a great adventure and they 
would play all the way to the field while collecting poppies, skipping 



134 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

rope, running and laughing all the while. Another great outing for the 
children was collecting wild garlic and wild cabbage from the side of 
the mountain. Accompanied by older brothers and sisters, they 
crossed the river at the shallowest part by linking arms and creating a 
human chain to protect each other from quicksand. Quicksand is un- 
predictable and each time they crossed the river a trail was packed 
down by the eldest boy and checked with a stick before they crossed to 
prevent any accidents. 

Often the colonists would stay indoors, sit around the fire and 
listen to stories. Many Molokans were fantastic storytellers and the 
young sat by as the elders told stories and fairytales that were passed 
down from generation to generation. 

The colonists also enjoyed going to Samarin River (Riech-ka) 
located at the east end of the colony or Mohoff s Riech-ka at the south 
end. Both lakes and the river were great for swimming and after 
chores the young boys and girls would head to the river for a swim or 
to sit beneath the shade of the trees. Some girls brought handcraft 
work to do while others enjoyed sunbathing. Still others enjoyed cactus 
fruit-picking which tasted like a cross between a banana and a kiwi 
fruit. In the forests of the Valley wild mushrooms grew abundantly. 
One had to be knowledgeable as to which were good to eat and which 
were poisonous, but to go on a mushroom-picking trip was great fun. 




, ' ^-f 
"~^^^ 



Courtesy of Ana Nesterenko 
Samarin Lake 
Andrey Kornoff, Juan Rogoff, Morrie Lidioff and visitor. 



Vacation and Recreation 



135 



At one time, some of the locals from the city tried to bring a 
movie theater into the Valley. They showed cowboy movies in a school 
classroom on Saturday nights — which was intended to be the young 




^ 







iHl 



Courtesy of U.M.C. A. 

Molokan visitors from Los Angeles enjoying the lake during the summer. No- 
tice the dark figure diving in the center of the picture. 




Courtesy of Andrey Samaduroff 

Vera Mohoff, Maria Mechikoff, Ana Babishoff, Esther Samarin and Sara Ro- 
goff at Samarin lake. 



136 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Mohoff s Lake 

In Vasilli Mohoff s back yard there was a small river in the winter time. After a 
flood in 1938 it turned into a big lake about 75 yards wide, 1/4 mile long and 25 feet 
deep. The depth declined at one end where the boys and girls learned to swim. In the 
1950s the water table went down when the Molokans began pumping water for irriga- 
tion. The hole eventually dried up. A flood in the 1980s covered the hole with sand 
and it has remained dry (1991). 

Molokan's church night. The first night there was a movie, the class- 
room was filled to capacity and the only people in church were the 
elders. The Molokans approached the authorities asking them to stop 
showing movies, and only four movies were seen before it was closed 
down. Opposition to the shows was generated by the elders who felt 
that it was not a good form of amusement. The movies can supposedly 
exert a tremendous amount of influence on young, pliable minds and 
often crime, or a love triangle, is the central theme of these pictures. 
Another great attraction for the young single people was called 
"the spoon (loshka)." The journey to the site began at one end of the 
colony, usually on Sunday evenings. Young ladies would link their 
arms together forming a line and walk down the street singing in 
Spanish or Russian. As they walked more young ladies would join in, 
adding to the line. They sang happy songs as they strolled down the 
street. The line would begin with five or 10 girls and grow until there 
were about 40 young women or more. The destination in mind was 



Vacation and Recreation 



137 



"the loshka" which was a big rock at the end of the colony shaped hke 
a spoon. The boys would meet the girls there to mingle. They would 
sing and talk together and by sunset they would pair off and head 
home. "The loshka" was Guadalupe Valley's answer to "lover's lane." 
Once young couples married, they did not return to the famed 
"loshka" because now they belonged to a different group with differ- 
ent responsibilities and thoughts. 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

La Cuchara, lover's lane rock (loshka). 



138 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Dunioka Dalgoff 

Alice Afonin, Ana Mohoff, Loxie Dalgoff, Jane Kobzeff, Jane Babishoff, Mary 
Mechikoff, Arisha Babeshoff and Mary Rudametkin getting ready to go hand-in-hand 
down the street to the Loshka. 



CHAPTER NINETEEN 



WEDDINGS AND MARRIAGE 



Following old Russian tradition, young couples did not necessar- 
ily find each other and get married, but the father would often arrange 
for the marriage of his son or daughter. Before a boy reached 18 the 
father searched for a girl to be his wife. Likewise, the father of a girl 
would look for a husband for her before she reached 16. The parents 
would then meet, talk and arrange an introduction between the two. 
The parents then informed the children they were to be married. This 
custom changed with time and soon the children found the spouse 
of their choice and in turn, informed the parents of their plans for 
marriage. 

A Molokan wedding ceremony is a great deal different from most 
church practices. The wedding is a colorful occasion and little has 
changed since the exodus from Russia. However, the wedding prepa- 
rations of today in America are a bit different from those in Guada- 
lupe. The engagements were very short, just long enough to prepare 
the clothes for the wedding. Then, with only the closest friends and 
relatives, and some church members, the engagement was announced 
to the community with a prayer followed by tea and refreshments. 
Every night during the week before the wedding, the bride-to-be had 
her girlfriends over her house to help with the preparation of her 
wedding gown and the bridegroom's shirt. They sang while they 
worked and the girls usually spent the night. 

The night before the wedding was called the blessing night. A 
prayer and blessing over the young couple was performed after which, 
a small dinner was held. The churches were fairly small and since the 
elders occupied the church, the young people usually had dinner at the 
bride-to-be's house. This was a time of great merriment and gaiety. 



140 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Moises Rogoff, Parania Kornoff, Bill Nazaroff, Mania Mohoff, Pauline G. Ba- 
beshoff, Alejandro J. Samarin, Hazel Evdokimoff, John J. Mohoff, Anna H. Na- 
zaroff, Alex Samaduroff, Onya Pivovaroff, Alex Babeshof, Mary Samaduroff, Maria 
T. Babeshoff, Nellie Samarin and Martha Afonin having a good time. 




Courtesy of June Samarin 

Some boys from Los Angeles and Mexico; John Bibayeff, Bill Nazaroff, Moises 
Rogoff, Juan Rogoff, Bill Babishoff John Nazaroff, visitor, Moises Samarin, John 
Belakoff, visitor, Alejandro Mohoff, Jim Samarin, John Samaduroff, visitor, George 
Babeshoff looking for girls. 



Weddings and Marriage 141 

The girls would take the bride home for dinner and when the groom 
arrived with his friends, the girls surrounded the bride and made him 
pay for the seat next to her. If he paid a small amount, they would 
chide him about how cheaply he valued his bride, until he paid more. 
Once he was seated, the girls would charge him also for the tablecloth, 
the dishes and everything else until the table was set. Each boy would 
then make his choice of a girl to be seated by. After prayer, calls for 
chi-ni-slatki (tea is not sweet) would begin. The couple fulfilled the call 
with the traditional kiss and all the boys and girls at the table would 
follow their example. This was not a wedding and this kissing game 
was allowed on this particular evening. Usually the youth were very 
restricted and this is why the young so looked forward to this evening. 
They spent the remainder of the evening singing happy songs. At the 
end of the evening the girls would spend the night and at dawn, the 
bride and her closest friends would sing a melancholy chant to wake 
the rest of the girls. The chant indicated she was saying farewell to her 
girlhood. It was usually a very sorrowful affair and one often won- 
dered how there could be such sadness during a happy time. The 
words in the song presented or explained that the bride was taking on 
new responsibilities and must now please her husband, his sisters, his 
brothers and as one poet said, "I slept and dreamt that life is beauty, 
awoke and found that life is duty." 

Once the bride was dressed, the girls sang another sad song while 
the bride's sister, or cousin, unbraided the combs in her hair. Back 
then, the girls wore their hair in braids tied with ribbons in them. The 
few ribbons taken from her hair were given to her sisters and close 
friends because from this day on, she would wear a cap (chepchik). As 
bride's house came to a close, the groom's family would be heard 
coming down the street, singing happy psalms. As they approached, 
the girls would go onto the porch and answer them with a welcoming 
song. The groom and his party entered the house and a short cere- 
mony was performed and the bride's friends and relatives were then 
invited to the wedding. The bridal couple with the best man 
(droozhok) and the bridesmaid (svashka) would lead the procession 
with the elders, parents and relatives, to the church, singing all the way. 

Upon arrival of the party at the church (so-bra-nya), the greeting 
and ceremony was very much the same as it is now. The parents of the 
couple invited all the church members, friends and relatives on both 
sides to the wedding. The church was usually packed with an average 
of 400 people. The preacher and parents would bless the couple in 
church with a blessing to last until death parted them. During the 



142 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Walking from the groom's house to the brides in 1938, while singing the sca- 
zatil is Moisi H. Nazaroff 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Wedding of John and Martha Mohoff, May 10, 1936 Anna A. Samaduroff, 
Martha Afonin, John Mohoff, Alex Samaduroff, Vasilli I. Mohoff welcome the bridal 
party with salt and bread, Ulasha Mohoff, Michael Mohoff and Nastiya Samaduroff 



Weddings and Marriage 



143 



ceremony, the bride and groom were taken to the table where an oozle 
(a ceremonial marital gift from the bride's parents to the couple to 
begin their new life) was placed on the table by the bride's mother. A 
tablecloth was wrapped around dishes, a teapot, salt, bread and silver- 
ware. The brides maid of honor carefully spread out the cloth and laid 
out the items on the table. This portion of the wedding is taken very 
seriously as it is symbolic in teaching the groom he is responsible for 
bringing food home and providing a roof over the heads of his wife 
and family. To the woman the oozle represents tending the home and 
preparing the food. This ritual is regarded with great respect since it 
was representative of the way a young family lived. The oozle symbol- 
ized that the young people were now united and were together setting 
up house. The congregation examined the gift and the preacher ex- 
plained the symbolism to the couple. The dishes were then wrapped 
back into the bundle and taken to the house where the young couple 
were to live. 

Once the ceremony was complete, the couple was taken into a 
corner, corsages were pinned on and the bride's shawl was exchanged 
for a beaded cap (pavyaska). This was so she would not look like the 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Wedding of Vasilli and Vera Samaduroff 

A tent where the wedding ceremony takes place in Guadalupe, 1938. The sam- 
ovars are being heated outside of the entrance and the tent siding was the wind break 
for the area. 



144 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

rest of the single women in the church. At this time, veils were not 
worn and for a long time no flowers were given out at the wedding, but 
eventually the custom did begin around the 1940s. Couples did not go 
on a honeymoon, but, this did not affect their happiness. The couple 
usually lived with the groom's parents. 

Molokans do not approve of divorce. The belief is that a couple is 
married in church before God and that is final. If the wife complained 
of mistreatment, the boy's father immediately intervened and talked to 
the boy. Sometimes, a preacher or church elder was brought in to 
peaceably handle a marital problem. 

Once married, the wife lived with her husband and new family. 
She took on the chores of her new household. The relationship be- 
tween mother and daughter-in-law was one of great respect. The new 
wife respected her mother-in-law as though she were her own mother. 
The mother-in-law designated domestic chores to her and treated her 
as her own. The mother-in-law had the obligation of assisting her new 
daughter-in-law in every way possible. As an example, when she gave 
birth, the mother-in-law was present. The bride's happiness depended 
greatly upon her new parents. This is why the bride's parents took 
great care in helping to select the family, as well as the groom, for their 
daughter. Often, to make things more comfortable for their daughter, 
the bride's parents presented the newly weds with a young cow. 

The newlyweds were not the only ones to live with the family. 
Often, three or four of the married sons, with their families, lived in 
the house also. They worked together and when the father was in a 
financial position to do so, he would help each of his sons to become 
independent. An adjacent house or a separate home was built and 
sometimes the parents would also furnish it, depending upon their 
wealth. The son continued to work for his father and sooner or later, 
all the sons would separate in this manner, from the parents except the 
youngest son who often lived with the parents until they passed away. 
He was called Karmilits and expected to care for the parents as they 
aged and in return inherited the property. When the father died, the 
mother inherits the property, according to traditional belief. It was 
believed that in respect to the spirit of the dead, rights to dispose of 
property is passed to the wife, and ultimately the youngest son. In 
recent years, these traditions have changed and daughters are now 
granted an equal share. 



CHAPTER TWENTY 



FUNERALS 



Funerals in Guadalupe were practiced in the traditional Molokan 
manner. There were two nights of services and feasting prior to the 
day of the burial. In the old days, it was customary to wear colored 
costumes which lent color to the services. For 48 hours the body was 
kept in an open casket in the family's home. The white coffm was 




^^•"^■^ 



Courtesy of Moises Samaduroff 

Ivan P. Samaduroff, Fred Halopoff, Juan Afonin, Jim Samarin and Miguel 
Buckroff in ttie Molokans cemetery. A prayer is said before the men begin to dig 
the grave. 



146 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



usually constructed by the family. The day of the burial, one man 
carried the coffm lid and was followed by four men who carried the 
coffm which rested on long towels. The towels were wrapped around 
the mens shoulders and because the distance to the cemetery was 
about three miles, men would often take turns carrying the body. 

As the procession continued, singers chanted songs of mercy and 
humility during the tearful march. Following the burial ceremony, the 
party went to the church where a service was conducted in a tent put 
up for special services. The prayer was followed by a commemorative 
feast and the following day another service and feast would take place. 
Occasionally, for convenience, the tent was put up in the backyard of 
the family's deceased. 




Courtesy of Vasilli I. Mohoff 

Funeral of Vasili G. Mohoff (1884-1928) held in a tent. 



Funerals 



147 




Courtesy of June D. Samarin 

Funeral in Guadalupe, January 4, 1931. House #42 in the map index. 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Vasilli V. Buckroff, Vasilli I. Mohoff, Alex K. Samarin, Hania Nazaroff, and 
Pavil Babeshoff prepare food for the church. 



148 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

At the old church, the food was prepared outdoors. 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

The samovars were heated outside before bringing them into the church. 



Funerals 



149 




.;i*i: 



>:^i^ii%i:L, 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

The Molokan cemetery in Guadalupe was private and not until 1965, after the 
Molokans left the Valley, were some non-Russians buried there as witnessed by the 
Crosses. In 1970, Molokans from Los Angeles fenced the cemetery. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE 



CROSSING THE BORDER 



When somebody wanted to cross the border from Mexico into 
the United States there was a great deal of red tape. The colonist first 
had to obtain a Mexican permit as proof of residency in Guadalupe. 
On the permit, the applicant was required to list all property and the 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Author George Mohoffs family. Ivan, Mania, Onya, Pete, George, Issai, Va- 
silli I., Ulasha T. and baby Vera Mohoff 



Crossing the Border 



151 



value of one's home, land, farm equipment and livestock. Photos were 
taken and the visitor had to purchase a stamp from the official public 
notary. Once these documents were obtained verification was needed 



aVmerican consular service 



■^/^-f^-" 



Received OF S^^l.a.Ul.'i^. /XL.(J^-,.....,.^..^...y^. s ._ 

the sum of ONE DOLLAR l^yprcparing Aliens Declaration <Tnd/adminisCcring 
oatli thereto, as prescribed by regulations of tiic Department of- State. 

L''W».'T rvM|. I "' // _''^ 

-— " 1 i/ _____ ^^o-Z<23 

"ui"nmBrioH-aT: — nnTrnTirraci-, — ntoA loo ;— ijarT:0Tin.ly appoarod "T^OrrfS 

'Flu't; ha i3 T -oibioo.. cr cuhjoct of 'tiin-'iia; tiiab ho 
11T98 Qt ''■uQdoloupo , I.:o::ioo; tlirt lij o.ma lend In tho rioinlty of 
GuDdoloupe; thnt tliot placo io his homo; tliat lio forriorlj lived.'in tho 




"^(SirVfebeoAb^Qiid sworn to boforo moJii{i^^ dry of^rch ig,":: 

"^J Cinaul of tlie Uul^d aoatoo of /u.io/ica. 

dopoiiflnt r.wt orrgjit^ oiJi^iji?^ ."^^jxpf^V' " '( ^ 














' yk^^^^'-'-^.M 



■jVt EiiBBiiadc, lioxioo, 
iWcf^lfor mo Jour. ,07 to tb,o U„ltod atatoa 1 _ t' w/ A // ^J^f- 

|^;;23lIIII.., ■ jtior/oan Oououl./ ^ • | 

r^'rrr^^r'^*' ■fV'ilid|h/lv for IS inonl-.hn from thin rtn.to ) 
'I ,'S'^-/\Li( MAR iU 1323 1 



O'^ 



152 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Ho. 20 

Ai'yiDAVIT OF ALIiiil Di^SIHIilG TO UITKU TlIK UlilTiiU oTATiiJ VHTHOUT C 

PAi-.:;i'ouT. 

AililillCAII COHliULAT ii X 



/,i/ 
> 



Pavil Babshoff, Imving boon duly aworu, dopo3co find eayB : 
That he was born at ilavB, Provinoe of J Jira , Huflola, in 
';th6-year 1883; that ho emicrated to tha United States from the poft ■ 
. of." Hamburg in the year 1905 arriving nt t}ie port of Hon Yorlc, and 
proceedAd to the port of Lo3 Angoloa where he resided four years. 
Thit in the year 1910 ho cnicrated to Lowet California, l.laxioo, 
through the port of liu Juana., and has sinoe maintained hio resi- 
dence at Guadalupe, where lie is engaged in farming. 

That ha now desires to enter the United States through 
the port of Tia Juana for tlie purposes 6f purchasing supplies for 
hia farm. That he desires to remain in San Diego or Los Angeles 
for a period of three weekc, and tliat he then desires to return 
to liexioo through the port of Tla Juana. 

-~ — TliCLt KofftnAo VilttiooT-P In a nnlintry jv'iero the iiUSoiaQ 

governipent of v/hioh lie is a subjeot, maintains no representative 
and that it is impossible for him to obtain c passport from any 
Russian authority. 

V/hcreforo and in view of the aboTo.fc.ots , he mnkes this 
affidavit and application for permission. to ontcr the United States 
at the plaoe and for the purpose above set forth to remain 
for 9^__ period of and not exceeding- three ^eelcs. 

Signature of ai'i'iant and applicant 
ed to and enorn to before me this SHrd day of May 1918 





Crossing the Border 153 

from the American Consul in Tijuana. The reason for the trip had to 
be explained and often a telegram was brought for verification if a 
relative was sick. In 1930, the declaration of non-immigrant alien 
passed and admission into the United States cost about $10. 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: 

The undersigned. Sub-delegate of the government of this place by means of 
this letter, 

CERTIFIES 
That based on information collected by this Government Sub-delegation, Mr. 
BASILIO J. MOHOFF, and his wife ELOISA MOHOFF, of Russian Na- 
tionality, of age, married, farmer, resident of this colony, since the year of 
1912, to date, and who is the owner of the following properties: 

1 House built of adobe and plastered wood with cement, in good 

condition. 
1 Barn built of adobe and wood with sheet metal roof 

3 Henhouses built of adobe and wood with sheet metal roof 
1 Aereo-motor with its tank installed in a water well. 

1 Parcel planted with fruit trees under production. 

4 Lots of land where the houses already mentioned are built. 
1 Ford truck model 1947 in good condition. 

1 Automobile Ford model "A" 1929 in good condition. 

1 Ford tractor with its equipment model 1945 in good condition. 

4 Horse wagons in good condition. 

1 Wheat and barley cutter in good condition. 

80 Heads of cattle. 

10 Heads of cattle horse. 

44 Hectares of land with a plantation of 55,000 sprigs of vineyard 

already under production. 

161 Hectares of seeding land. 

Having observed said, the Basilio J. MohofPs, honorable conduct; and not 
having in our Office any information by which he had to be sanctioned. 

As a request of the interested party and for the legal uses that he might 
consider necessary, this is issued in Guadalupe, Delegation of Ense- 
nada. North Territory of the Lower California, on the sixth day of the 
month of June of 1940. 

Effective Sufragge, No re-election 
The Sub-Delegate of the Government 

Enrique Ruiz Gutierrez 



CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO 



SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION 



In the early years, the parents did not want their young to go to 
high school, maintaining the primitive thought that high school will 
ruin a person because it allows him to see things other than farming 
that he would envy — and he would become discontented. The older 
members of the sect were biased against worldly wisdom. However, 
now, one finds great respect for education and its practical applications 
such as doctors, lawyers, dentists and engineers. Education is encour- 
aged as is the recognition of the necessity for all occupations. The 
appreciation for education has increased tremendously as people real- 
ize to advance in a chosen vocation, education is often a necessity. 

By 1925, the population had increased tremendously and there 
were more than 200 children. A new elementary school with six class- 
rooms was built in the Valley, it was called Country Schools, Rebsa- 
men of Guadalupe. The first through the sixth grade were taught 
there. Since 1907, there was a elementary school in Guadalupe, the 
Samarin School, with six grades and four teachers. Each teacher 
taught two grades and there were about 50 pupils in each grade from 
age six to 14. The teachers at Country Schools, Rebsamen of Guada- 
lupe were Sanchez, Ruiz, Martinez, Vera, Lolita Marquez, Dominga 
Marquez, Sarita Filatoff, Katarina Egoroff. Classroom activities con- 
sisted of lectures, taking notes, memorizing and reciting. Subjects of 
study included reading, writing, math, art, geography, history and 
science. Students were required to pass an exam before they could 
advance to the next grade, regardless of age. 

Ninety-five percent of the 200 children who attended the school 
were Russian. In 1938, when ejido was formed, the percentage 
dropped to 50 percent. The school had a significant influence on the 



Schools and Education 



155 




Courtesy of Vera Kornoff 
1928-1963 

Class of 1935. Moises Babishoff, Pablo Dalgoff, Pedro Buckroff, Oreol Colin, 
Issai Mohoff, Juan Kornof, Alenjandro Bibayeff, Simon Rogoff, Basilio Nazaroff, 
Andrey Samaduroff, Pedro Mohoff, Ernesto Hernandez, Juan Samaduroff, Jose Me- 
lendes, Basilio Mechikoff, Alenjandro Babishoff, David Nazaroff, Antonio Pradin, 
Miguel Dalgoff. 

children and sometimes created tension within the Russian patriarchal 
family unit. The children were taught by some Mexican teachers and 
were taught primarily in Spanish. The teachers would bring their own 
cultural beliefs into the teaching which often worked to modify the 
mentality of the children and create tension in the home. The father of 
the house was typically a conservative, Russian peasant with undis- 
puted authority as head of the house which the children began to 
challenge. The influence of the schooling was strong, and the young 
children were more comfortable speaking Spanish. Because the Molo- 
kans did not want to abandon their language and customs, parents 
tried to teach Russian to their children by speaking it in the home. 
However, very few of them were educated and they did not know how 
to read or write it so it was difficult to provide the children with a good 
education in the old language. Nevertheless, most the children learned 
to speak the language well. In 1930, George Verdugo, a well-educated 
man came to the colony from Russia and while working on the Molo- 
kan farms for several years he taught the children two nights a week 
how to read and write Russian. 



156 The Russian Colony of Guadcdupe Molokans in Mexico 





Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Samarin School, 1907-1928, Escuela rural Enrique C. Rebsamen 

A verbal agreement was made between the colonists and the gov- 
ernment that called for a delegate and his family, and school teachers 
with their families, to live vvithin the colony. The only stipulation was 
that Mexico supplied the three or four teachers. The first delegate to 
arrive was Senor Garrido who lived on his own ranch about 4 miles 
outside the Russian colony. The second delegate was Sepriano Arce 
who lived on his own ranch west of the colony. The third was Francisco 
Nunez (Pancho) with his wife Virginia and their three children Ro- 
berto, Maria and Ema. They lived in the colony in a house that be- 
longed to Ivan K. Kornoff. Nunez's children schooled with the 



Schools and Education 157 

ESCUELA OFICIAL PRIMARIA... /f?<>^.;ifrrT..?r±:^rrr 

Boleta de Reconocimientos de Fin de Ano. 

\92 .- \92 . 

ifi ano. veriiicaaos ...rf<r:vrr: aia . . 



En los reconocimientos de fin de ano, verificadgs_....;i^<^r::.r^ dla ^.. del 

actiwl, ....^f^.. alumn y^-^?r:<rr^:r^^::^:!r:r^....7^^^ ...r^^^^rrZ...kf^Q 



acUwl, ... 

^/^^<^<<^;»/? t , , obtuvo un promedio general de .-rrrf^.ff , con las calificaciones 

de .^ en LfrD^'jauNacional, de^^'^ en Ele*nento3 de Ciencias Naturalos y ^erl^.d. 

en Aritmetica; ;isistifvrr?^?^..<_. dias durante el ano y dejo de asistir ^^ dias. En 

tal virtud y de conformidad con los articulos 34 y 35 de las disposiciones relativas, 
!z;;^S<:'<^:^ 

^<r^'!^ '^^:'^/%:^ H. (:Siir,y^^*^^<:^^:^r--^^..:^/^ 192 ,^ 

NOTA. — ri*sr?iit('so esia boleta fil liaoerse la nueva iiiscripcion del aliimno. 

'^ ^/ 

Primary School, Rebsamen 
Recognition of Admission to end of the year 
1922-1923 

In the acknowledgement of the end of the year, verdical the date of the 
present year, the student Teodosia Tolmasoff obtained 10 in the classifi- 
cations. 

Language 10 Science 10 Arithmetic 10 
Attended 159 days not attended 31 

Conformity with articles 34 and 35 
She is approved and accepted 
Guadalupe Baja California June 10, 1923 
Director 
Martinez 
Note: show this admission to the new inscription of the student 

Russian children and were considered close friends. The three of them 
learned to speak Russian very w^ell. Nunez remained in the colony 
after his term was completed. He was respected and appreciated by 
the Molokans and he later opened a small grocery store. He was also 
in charge of the federal mail and would pick up the mail in Ensenada, 
then the Russians would pick up their mail from his store. Nunez 
assisted them with legal matters such as purchase-sale invoices and 
when telegrams came from Los Angeles, Nunez walked to their homes 
in the colony to deliver them. From 1935 to 1940, the fourth delegate 
was Primo Paganini and the fifth delegate was Senor Madrigal from 



158 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



1940 to 1945, he lived on the Ejido El Porvenir. 

In 1930, the school held their first program whereby the children 
performed on stage. It was held on Mother's Day and the children 
presented poems and songs. This posed quite a controversy because 
most felt it was in opposition to the traditional beliefs of the Molokans. 
Eventually, the programs were permitted as long as they did not con- 
flict with church activities or attendance. 



TERRITORIO NORTE QE LA B. CFA 

ESCUELA 



BOLETA QE CALIFLCACIO 



S TRIMESTRALES Correspondiente a //_4_-C-<:i-.''-'^ 

alumn.2 del—Z arte, durante el^periodo de l!)'!"? lii') 4^ 





^ 

* ASIGNATURAS 


TRIMESTRES 


Promedto 


OBSERVACIONES 




1 


II 


III 


General 






Lengua Nacional 
Aritmetica v Geoerafia 


/; 


i 


/ 






. .k^- 


jL__ 


r 


/„i,C 




Ciencias Naturales 


b ._ 


> 


/ 


A23 




Geoffrafia v Economia Polltica 

Historia y Civismo 

Dibuio 


-Jf 


^ 


/ 


C,3Z 




{; 


Y 


1 






(fi - 


y 




Trabajos Manuales 


^ - 


r 


1 


(J^ 




Canto Coral y Solfeo 
Eronomift Dom^stica 


). 


7 


L 


l.i-i 














Educaci6n Flsica 


y 


^ 


C 


LZ% 




Calificacion General 


L/Z 


Lsr 


cn 


ff-Yr 


1 




Aplicacion 


A 


A 


A 


/i 






Conducta 


fm 


1 JJ 


#? 


Jt!'& 




'ADroijado 




&ll<y 


^,'. 


M 




Reprobado 


/7u 


^. 


4, 


% 


• Ji ' 


-Asistencias 


s-/ 


4// 


s^ 


/JT 




'. tnasiatencias 


^ 


ff, 





1H- 






1 









' ' A '.^ v ^' Paso al arte inmedlato superior 
/" - <^.^:c^CU:/nIcipA^ B. Cfa.. // de 



a de Vd%ji_ 



^ii:L Encargad »^_WH5rupo, 
a^ DirectorcXz , \^^a^ <k^ /^^^ 



Firma del padre o tutor. 



Nota:— La calificaci6n se hara sujetandose a la eacala de 1 a 10. S61o se consideranin conio aprobados lo? 
alumnos que obtenjfan como calificaci6n minima la de 6 en laa 3 principales asiirnaturas. y i> conio 
promedio en las restantes 



Schools and Education 159 



North territory of Baja California primary school 

Official admission of classifications, quarterly correspondent to John 

Tolmasoff 



National language 


6 


6 


7 


6.33 


Arithmetic and Geography 


6 


6 


8 


6.66 


Natural science 


6 


6 


7 


6.33 


History 


6 


7 


7 


6.66 


Drawing 


6 


7 


7 


6.66 


Manual work 


6 


7 


7 


6.66 


Singing 


6 


7 


6 


6.33 


Physical education 


7 


6 


6 


6.33 


General qualification 


6.12 


6.37 


6.87 


6.45 


Application 


B 


B 


B 


B 


Conduct 


MB 


B 


MB 


MB 


Approve 


yes 


yes 


yes 


yes 


Reprove 


no 


no 


no 


no 


Attendance 


57 


47 


54 


158 


Unattendance 


8 


16 





24 



Yes, pass, superior contiguous year Guadalupe B. CA. June 11, 1934 
In charge of the group assistant teacher Sara Filatoff 

Director 
Dominga Marques 

Note: scale of qualification 1 to 10 to obtain minimum qualification is 
.6 on all three. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE 



THE OPENING OF THE HALL 
OF RECORDS 



There was no Hall of Records in Guadalupe, or the vicinities, so 
children born there did not have birth certificates, marriages were 
without licenses and no death certificates were provided. In 1928, the 
Mexican government passed a law that required all newborns to be 
registered with Ensenada's Hall of Records. Prior to this law, this 
action was only voluntary and never enforced. In the same year, the 
government opened a subsidiary Hall of Records in the office of the 
delegate (sheriff) to register those who were not on record for as far 
back as 1905. The majority of the Molokans did not have records of 
their birth and colonists tried to remember the day, some 20 years 
past. Eventually, a day was selected that was as close as could be 
remembered to the actual day of birth. Sometimes the month was 
close, but often they were off by a year or two. 

District of Guadalupe North of B. C. at 9 p.m. 6/30/1915 

Before me, is now Sipriano Arse Commissary of police in this 
place, and by ministry of law functioning of civil court of the state; 
appeared before me Mr. Alexie J. Samarin 32 years of age resident of 
Guadalupe colony, occupation is a farmer. 

He declared that on the 30th day of July 1915, at 3:30 p.m. his 
wife Maria John Samarin, age 31, Masha Ivanovna Samarin died of 
heart failure. 

She was the daughter of Ivan Vasilich Vidiveiff and Aksinia A. 
Vidiveiff. Present are two witnesses Petro Rudamitkin and Afansasiy 
Zubaroff both of legal age, farmers and residents of the Guadalupe 
colony. This document was read to them by the subscribe commissary; 



The Opening of the Hall of Records 161 

The appeared witnesses attest to its validity, saying to be con- 
firmed to affix their signature. 



^Jf¥'' 













Uyiii' /<sKV. o^c^ y^r^ .^^^(^,7^ siJ^\^iyiy y^ UM^^ /«2^ 
fj vyh^iH'^ >v2-£2>2i::^ ii>i>c«,^?2^ ^c^^yo^ayt^/K i^^-^: 







^d^'^ . d^i-ti^'i^' ^. .^\.. 



^;^iX,<r<.-d>^-. — l<^c^i_ /-O "c?/^ >i,<..^.i_^ 















CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR 



MANNER OF DRESS 



In the Guadalupe Valley the Molokans strove to maintain the 
traditional manner of dress and create a distinction from the rest of the 
population. The customary outfit for a woman consisted of a long 
sleeve shirt which buttoned down the front. Also, a white apron was 
worn over the skirt. Whether working in the fields or visiting friends, 
the white apron was worn. The women wore scarves, usually of dark 
colored silk, which covered the entire head and all the hair. The ends 




Courtesy of Andrey Samaduroff 

Ivan M. Kapsoff family; San Antonio; others cannot be identified. 



Manner of Dress 



163 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Fatshey T. and Hania I. Kachirsky 



were tied behind the head and the tassel hung down the woman's 
back. This was worn both indoors and outdoors. Young girls usually 
wore brightly colored head scarves until they were married. After a 
certain age it was considered improper for a young girl not to have her 
head covered. 

The church outfits were custom made out of the best material 
available. Only a few of the women in the Valley knew how to make 
them. Usually a husband and wifes' outfits were of the same color and 
traditionally, white was worn to funerals and bright colors were worn 
to weddings and religious holidays. The womens' skirts varied in 
length, according to age. The older the woman was, the longer her 
skirt was. 



164 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 





Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Gregory T. and wife Dunia P.K. Tolmasoff 

Custom did not approve of jewelry, and the older Molokan popu- 
lation felt accordingly, however, among the younger generation, en- 
gagement rings and other such adornments became popular. The 
younger women began to wear make-up and lingerie such as stock- 
ings, corsets and slips. 

Apart from the leaders of the church and the elders, most young 
men of the colony dressed as they did in the cities. They did not adopt 
the customs of the local populations but instead wore trousers and 
jackets. From school age on, the men wore caps or sombreros (Mexi- 
can hats). When the early settlers first arrived, they wore mihtary-style 
caps, but local pressure became too much and around 1930-35, they 



Manner of Dress 



165 



adjusted this custom. The men wore shirts which had three buttons at 
the neck and hung to the knees with a cord worn around the waist. 
They wore leather Vatinki boots but this too soon fell out of use. 
Children were usually barefoot, even at church and in school. On 
some occasions, at about 15, boys and girls would wear their first pair 
of shoes because in those days, parents could not afford to replace 
shoes of growing children. Because of the influence of national cus- 
toms, some traditional dress was abandoned by the younger Molokans 
for local customs, such as women wearing pants, which the elders 
strongly opposed. 








\ 






Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Ulasha Mohoff, Ulasha Buckroff and Mania Nazaroff in tiie traditional Molo- 
kan dress getting ready to go to church. Eloisa Mohoff made most of the outfits for 
weddings and special occasions. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE 



THE STARSHINA (PRESIDENT) 



The secular leader of the community was the starshina, or presi- 
dent. It was an informal position and status in the urban colony. He 
must be familiar with the local language and values and be able to 
interpret them to the Molokan society. He also acted as a spokesman 
for the sectarians to the larger community. He must be versed in Mex- 
ican government and legal system so he could effectively represent the 
community in legal battles over such problems as land rights. It was 
part of the president's duties to handle legal matters and settle neigh- 
borhood disputes. If he was unable to resolve a problem, a meeting of 
all the colonists was held in order to solve it. 

Basilio Mohoff was the last elected president and his term ran 
from 1940 to 1963 when he moved to the United States. During Mo- 
hoff s term as president, he had the opportunity to play host to three of 
Mexico's presidents. In 1940, President Lazaro Cardenas came to the 
colony with several members of his government. The colonists pre- 
pared the Russian dish Borsch at Mohoffs house. After the meal, the 
president had a conference with them. The Molokans had numerous 
questions about improving agriculture. The president complimented 
them very highly as he found them religious, hard-working, honest 
people. He asked the Russians what he could do to help them and they 
replied they wanted a dam on the east side of the Aguas Calientes (hot 
waters) canyon so they could water their fields. Without hesitation, 
Cardenas asked to see the place and because there were no roads, they 
traveled by horseback. They gave the president the most beautiful 
horse in the colony to ride which belonged to Gregory T Samarin. It 
was a sorrel-colored (reddish-brown) horse with a white face and legs. 



The Starshina (President) 



167 




One of the official meetings called by the colony "president" with the delegate from 
the Guadalupe Valley. The delegate, Mr. Garrido is in the middle of the front row. 
The meeting was held at a moment's notice. The president of the colony would send a 
messenger on horseback though the colony to notify everybody. It was customary to 
hold the meeting in the center of the colony so nobody would have to walk very far. 
This meeting was held in Vasilli K. Samarin's backyard. Meetings were held once a 
month to discuss farm business, crop prices, seed purchase, legal or domestic prob- 
lems, or just to gossip. 

Sjotka: (Meeting) Fenya A. Rogoff (from left, front row), Alexsay K. Samarin, 
Alexsay F. Marozoff, Vasilli A. Kotoff, Delegate Mr. Garrido, Vasilli G. Tolmasoff, 
Vasilli K. Samarin, Ivan D. Afonin, Alexsay I. Kornoff (second row), Vasilli P. Ro- 
goff, Pavil F. Kachirsky, Gregory D. Afonin, David P. Rogoff, Vasilli P. Kachirsky 
(back row), Ivan S. Bibayeff, Ivan A. Mechikoff, Pavil S. Babishoff, Alexsay S. Bibay- 
eff, Timofey S. Babeshoff, Ivan G. Mohoff, Vasilli M. Buckroff, Gregory T Samarin 
and Mikhial A. Mechikoff. 

Cardenas was an excellent rider, he looked the canyon over carefully 
and took notes. Once back in the colony, he asked what else could he 
do. Because they were short of land, the Molokans replied, he could 
grant them more land. The president told them there was a great deal 
of land south of Baja and if they so chose, it was theirs. The Molokans 
inspected the land, San Quintin, and because of a lack of water, they 
gently declined the generous offer. Cardenas eventually sent engineers 
to the Aguas Calientes canyon to survey the dam. Unfortunately, there 
were four consecutive years of little rain, and the engineers could not 
approve the project. 



168 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Mexico's president Lazaro Cardenas shakes hands with colony president Basilio 
Mohoff in 1953. 




i 



Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Lucy Mohoff, Mania Nazaroff, Alexsay M. Dalgoff, Egor Lisizin, Moisei Na- 
zaroff, Basilio Mohoff, John Samarin, Moises Samaduroff, Tanya Buckroff and Katty 
Dalgoff wait for the arrival of Mexican president Lazaro Cardenas. 



The Starshina (President) 



169 



In 1942, another Mexican president, attorney Miguel Aleman, 
visited the colony. His visit surprised the Molokans who were having a 
religious service with guests from the U.S. It was customary for Molo- 
kans to have salt on the dining tables in an open container as well as 
sugar. The president was immediately invited to stay for dinner, which 
he did. When they were having hot tea, Aleman mistakenly put a 
spoonful of salt in his cup of tea, thinking it was sugar. Unfortunately, 
nobody noticed this and the president left his tea untouched. The 
president owned a ranch between Tijuana and Tecate where he 
planted olive trees and spent his vacations. It's rumored that because 
of the salted tea, he never again visited the colony, even though it 
was nearby. 

By 1952 the number of Molokans in the Valley numbered at 
about 50 families. The few that remained kept close contact and built 
a new church. Mid 1958, President Lopez Mateos visited the colony. 
They welcomed him into the house of Juan K. Samarin and gave him 
a Russian breakfast of Blintzie and fresh butter. After breakfast they 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Mexican president Lopes Mateos, in 1958, poses with tlie Russian people (from 
left), Braulio Maldonado (governor of Baja California), Moises Samaduroff, Mateos, 
Basilio Mohoff and Juan Samarin after breakfast at Samarin's house. 



170 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



took him to see the new church and welcomed him with the traditional 
bread and salt ritual. The president complimented their customs, ob- 
served their religious procedure and enjoyed himself immensely. He 
assured the Molokans that nobody would bother them, and suggested 
they continue to live in peace, without doubt. The same year, former 
President Lazaro Cardenas went back to visit his Molokan friends in 
the colony. As was the custom, they prepared the traditional Russian 
dishes for him and everybody gathered to eat with the former presi- 
dent at Moses Nazaroffs home. 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Mexican president Lopes Mateos has lunch at John A. Samarin's house with 
Basilio Mohoff and the members of his cabinet. Seating the guests is Moises Sama- 
duroff (standing). 



The Starshina (President) 



171 



^1 ^^ Or^ M 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Mexican president Lopes Mateos visits the Molokan church. From left Vasilli 
Bibayeff, Andrey Samaduroff, Juan A. Samarin, Tanya and baby Vera Buckroff, 
Moises Samaduroff, Tania Nazaroff, Maria Rogoff, Basilio Mohoff, governor Braulio 
Maldonado, and president Mateos. 




Courtesy of Fae Koretoff 

Moisie H. Nazaroff with salt and bread, welcome the president of Mexico, 
Lazaro Cardenas into their new church. 



172 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

President Cardenas poses for a picture with all the Molokans of Guadalupe. 
Dunia Samarin (from left), Andrey and Vasilli Samaduroff, Igor Lisizin, Moisei Na- 
zaroff, Gabriel Pivovaroff, Vasilli Mohoff, the president, Moises Samaduroff, Juan K. 
Samarin, Vasilli Buckroff, Alexie Pivovaroff, Braulio Maldonado, Tania Mechikoff, 
Ulasha Mohoff, Mania Nazaroff, Lucy Mohoff, Dunia Bukroff and Maria Rogoff 



CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX 



ROAD TO ENSENADA 



In the early 1900s, Ensenada de Todos los Santos was a tiny port 
with a small population without roads anywhere. Eventually there was 
a small post office, two flour mills, two grocery stores, two black- 
smiths, two cantinas, two hotels and a few restaurants. The post office 
was run by Jesus Galipse who lived in Valle de las Palmas. The mail 
was carried by horse and carriage from Tijuana via Los Palmas, Valle- 
citos, Guadalupe, Real de Castillo and finally to Ensenada. In 1882, 
the International Company of Mexico Limited launched a grand colo- 
nizing scheme. Streets were laid out for a city of the future, rich with 
promise. Then, money ran short and the project was sold to a British 
syndicate which was developing a mining industry at El Alamo. By 
1889, Ensenada had become a weigh station for miners enroute to the 
gold placers. Nevertheless, the British made history. The first golf 
course on the entire American continent was established to keep the 
men active during their 14 years while their wives sipped tea on the 
broad veranadas of the luxurious Hotel Iturbide, which is now an 
empty foundation. 

Today, Ensenada is enjoying another boom with restaurants, 
shops, hotels and trailer parks that line the streets and highways. 
Modern port facilities are equipped to handle 5,000 bales of cotton 
trucked from Mexicali as well as the wine from Guadalupe Valley, 
olives, grain and other export cargo as well as private yachts and fish- 
ing boats. Tourism, however, remains the big business. Hussong's 
Cantina is one of the few remaining landmarks of the great British 
concessions that was established by the Hussong brothers. One man- 
aged the restaurant and cantina, another managed the Hussong bun- 



174 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

George Mohoff, Issai Mohoff and John Kornoff caught their hmit of sea bass 
while fishing in Ensenada. 

galows, and another the San Carlos hot springs. Percy Hussong used 
to tell stories about the Russian Molokans who came through in horse 
wagons and used his corrals to feed and water their horses. He ex- 
plained how they brought their own lunch, usually borsch, and heated 
it outside on an open fire and made hot tea to go with it in their 
samovars. Hussong talked about how this group of Russians occupied 
Guadalupe and already acquired the custom of eating hot chili pep- 
pers. Chilis quickly became a staple of Molokan meals and they even 
dipped jalepenos, instead of strawberries, into chocolate. 

Although weather and climate were two important factors in the 
settlement of the Valley, the most important factor was of course, the 
people who moved into the area and against heavy odds, transformed 
a barren land into an oasis. The Molokan people, it seems, have been 
on the move most of their lives, and Mexico was no exception. In 1920, 
three families moved from Guadalupe to Ensenada to try and live a 
better life. Two of them, Emiliano Abakumoff and Frank Bibayeff 
built homes in the city, bought milking cows and together opened a 
small dairy. The third man, Radivon S. Pavloff leased a small farm 
not far from the city and raised goats. He sold the goat milk in the city 
and also gardened. Also, Abakumoff leased a small farm and had a 
wheat plantation similar to that in the Guadalupe colony. 



Road to Ensenada 



175 




Courtesy of Abakumoff family 

John, Mike, Mania, Onya, Polya, Hania, Emiliano, Katia, Parasha, Tania, 
Julia and grandmother. Ensenada 



/ ? /■ ^ 





Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

Jim, Paulina, Mary, John and Mike Abakumoff baling hay in Ensenada in 
1925. 



176 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



-X 



>355& 




Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

Parasha, John, Mike and Paula Abakumoff milking their cows in Ensenada, 
1920. 



«H'w«i«'*^*^''^r^ 




Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

The Emiliano Abakumoff family threshing wheat in Ensenada. 



Road to Ensenada 



177 



» ' ^-^mmK^ 




Courtesy of Andrey Samaduroff 

Mike Bibayeff, Masha B. and Feodor Y. Bibayeff. This family was very hospita- 
ble to all who traveled by their home. Ensenada 



CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN 



ENTREPRENEURS 



In 1920, Mr. Barestay sold his flour mill to the Russian Develop- 
ment Company of Baja California Sociedad Cooperative Limited of 
Guadalupe Colony. Soon after the Molokan purchase, from 1920 to 
1928 there were about five different Molokan men who attempted to 
run the mill, but it remained unsuccessful. Manuel Ezroj, a Jewish 
Russian, came to Ensenada and opened a small grocery store. He 
spoke Russian fluently and soon, all the Molokans of the Guadalupe 
vicinity were shopping at his store. Ezroj began to give the Molokans 
an annual credit line which was payable after the harvest of their 




Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

Paul J. Samarin, Mike Lisizin, Manuel Ezroj, and Andrey Klistoff at the Rus- 
sian Flour Mill. Ensenada 



Entrepreneurs 



179 



'W' 




Ensenada port in the 1930s. 

crops. In 1928, the Russian flour mill was leased to Ezroj for five years 
with an option to buy. Ezroj soon hired Ricardo Romero to run the 
flour mill. Romero had a good education, was well known and friendly 
with the Molokans. He began to hire Russian help for the mill and 
soon renamed it Sperry Victor Flour. Romero was a great help to the 
Molokans and assisted them in legal matters which earned him a great 
deal of respect among the Russians. 

In the late 1920s, an American Developer began to build a hotel. 
He hired numerous carpenters and laborers to complete the Hotel 
Playa. This was about the time more Molokans moved from the San 
Antonio colony and there were more than 12 families living in Ense- 
nada. In 1929, there was only one service station by the central park 
owned by an Englishman. Emiliano Abakumoff with Vasili Popoff 
opened the first gas station owned by a Molokan on the Abakumoff 
property. They worked together for five years then split up. Popoff 
then opened his own station and by this time Moses K. Rudametkin 
opened another station and Ezroj another. Ezroj 's service station was 
complete with a garage staffed with Molokan attendants and mechan- 
ics. Gas station owners had to buy their own tank trucks to go to San 
Diego or Wilmington, California, to purchase gasoline and oil prod- 
ucts. In the early 1930s, with the growth of the city, more cars and 
trucks were on the road and there was a greater demand for gasoline 



180 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

Polya, Onya, Parasha, Alex Lidioff, Emile Abakumoff, Mike Lisizin and Juan 
Abakumoff at the Abakumoff Texaco service station. Ensenada 



for cars, trucks and fishing vessels. The Molokans had control of the 
oil industry in both wholesale and retail. The competition soon be- 
came great as two more Molokans opened their own gas stations. 

After Ezroj purchased the flour mill in 1934, it did very well. 
There was no other competition in the area. In 1935, Ezroj opened a 
Ford car agency where he sold trucks and tractors to farmers on credit. 
In 1940, he brought large Catepillar tractors from America and began 
a farm business of his own. He hired many Molokans for farm work as 
well as training the younger ones to be heavy diesel mechanics. In 
addition, he opened a chicken farm near Ensenada where he distrib- 
uted eggs throughout the Baja area. In 1950, he opened an agricul- 
tural farm agency where he sold equipment to the farmers on credit 
and managed the business himself. He had only one brother, Mike 
Ezroj. Mike was quiet and helped Manuel manage some of his smaller 
businesses. In the late 1950s, sadly, Manuel died. Unfortunately, he 
left no will and nobody knows where his money went. His millions of 
dollars of uncollected credit were never pursued. 



Entrepreneurs 



181 







Courtesy of Bill Lisizin 

School friend and Polya Abakumoff on the main street of Ensenada in 1929. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT 



THE PARACHUTERS 



On July 13, 1958, a huge sign measuring about 21-feet long by 
2-feet high bearing the Jacinto Lopez name was posted near the en- 
trance to the Russian Colony of Guadalupe. Additional signs were 
posted throughout the colony. The message was the Mexicans wanted 
the land and they did not want any foreigners to own it. The last 49 
families were all either naturalized as Mexican citizens or born in 
Mexico. The Molokans, however, were targeted and their land was 
invaded. Lands belonging to other citizens or the Governor Braulio 
Maldonado was not touched and at the time the governor owned 100 
acres of prime land. Bearded dummies were hanged in effigy and the 
Molokans were told their homes would be burned if they did not leave. 
Maldonado offered no help and made no statement to the press 
throughout the incidents. After the third and fourth invasion by squat- 
ters the Molokans were exhausted psychologically and financially and 
made the decision to leave Guadalupe. They feared the safety of their 
lives and the uncertain future that lay before them. The Molokans 
sold most their land to the Mexican Agricultural Company at a frac- 
tion of its value because they were so anxious to leave. Independent 
Mexican farmers were afraid to purchase the land from the Russians 
because they thought the squatters would seize it from them, too. This 
lack of interest forced the price down and as the threats against their 
lives continued, the Russian became more embittered and left the 
valley. Indifference on behalf of the Mexican government sealed the 
fate of the once prosperous Colony. This closed the book on another 
chapter in the history of Molokan persecution. 

What spurred the squatters was news of a program in America 
for farm workers. Thousands approached the border hoping to be 



The Parachuters 



183 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

In the early part of 1958, Basilio Mohoff and John Samarin with lawyer Juan I. 
Padilla traveled to Mexico City to take their complaints about the squatters to presi- 
dent Cardenas. 

enrolled and crossed the border illegally. U.S. Immigration and Natu- 
ralization Services deported them back to the Mexican border. They 
were without jobs, without homes and spent cold nights in old aban- 
doned cars left by the river. They were hungry and had no place to go. 
When Braulio Maldonado ran for governor, he promised he would 
give free land to these people if he was elected. The land he promised 
was the land that belonged to the Molokans. When agrarian squatters 
arrived in 1958 and deprived the Molokans of their land, the protests 
of the colonists were unheard by the governor. Thus, Basilio Mohoff, 
with Juan K. Samarin and an attorney, went to ask the former presi- 
dent Cardenas for help. Cardenas still had limited authority in the 
Mexican government and he welcomed them with open arms into his 
home. When they presented their complaints, he was surprised and 
told them not to worry. He suggested they return to the colony in 
peace and assured them he would personally straighten the situation 
out. When the men returned, they found federal troops had escorted 
the squatters group off the land. 

July 10, 1958, saw the beginning of the end of the Molokan 
colony in the Guadalupe Valley. For more than 50 years the Molokans 
had lived their dream of a peaceful religious agricultural colony. On 
that July morning the Molokans awoke to the sight of 3,000 squatters 



184 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

on their land. They had arrived in a caravan of buses, cars and trucks 
and had erected cardboard shacks virtually overnight — in the middle 
of their crops. The sun had set the day before and when it had risen, 
the Molokans were faced with a shanty town. The caravan had driven 
across planted fields, destroying them and the fences around them. 
Little did the Molokans know this was a ploy orchestrated by local 
authorities to fulfill campaign promises. A candidate assured voters, if 
elected to office, he would give them free land — the land occupied by 
the Molokans. These voters took the land from the Russians by force, 
yet the Molokans, regardless of cruel treatment, continued to treat the 
squatters with generosity and kindness. 

At one time floods ravaged the Valley and the lives of many 
squatters were in danger. The squatters settled in the lowlands of the 
colony where the floods were particularly dangerous. Vicious rains 
washed down the mountainside causing flash floods. The Molokans 
saw the squatters were in danger and assisted those in need while 
pulling others from the floodwaters and providing them with food, 
shelter and other basic necessities demonstrating genuine Christian 
love instead of vindictive hatred. 

This was only one of the many events that altered the lives of the 
colonists with the arrival of the squatters. The squatters were called 
paracaidistas, or parachuters, because they seemed to appear from the 
sky. Their leader was Braulio Maldonado, a peasant leader from Baja 
with high political aspirations. The squatters were recruited by 
Maldonado from the Sonora area. Many were laborers that had 
helped with the construction of the federal highway. Once in office, he 
recognized the improvements made by the Russians in the Valley, and 
realized the land was valuable and invaded the land under the pretext 
of "law of idle lands" which stated the owner of land larger than a 
hectare was obligated to cultivate the land, and if not, he was to con- 
tact the agrarian authorities. If the land was to remain idle for the 
following agricultural year, authorities were to be notified other 
farmers could lease the land. 

The Molokans did not consider the land idle because it was lying 
fallow while they used it as a pasture for livestock. This was the fore- 
father's method of intensive land use to work the land for a period of 
time and rotate crops when deemed necessary. To the Molokans it was 
common sense to let the land lie fallow, they did not learn this method 
from books or studies, they thought it was logical to allow the land 
time to replenish. Nevertheless, the squatters attempted to justify their 
stay on the Molokan land using the "law of idle land" pretext. They 



The Parachuters 185 

claimed the Russians were selfish foreigners. The squatters seemed to 
envy the manner in which Molokans kept to themselves and were self- 
sufficient. Another claim of the squatters was the Russians came to the 
Valley on a 50-year lease that was now expired. They claimed the land 
was given to them by President Miguel Aleman (1946-1952), with 
the understanding that they were to teach the Mexicans how to farm 
the land. 

These accusations were proven invalid by the Molokan colony. 
The alleged 50-year lease, was also disproved by tracing the outright 
ownership of the land back to 1907. No lease was mentioned in the 
title search and there was no mention of President Aleman giving the 
land to them during his term. When the Molokans were ready to 
appeal the squatter's action, Maldonado was elected to office. Because 
it was known he had initiated the invasion, the Molokans, represented 
by Basilio Mohoff and Juan Samarin, with lawyer Juan Ignacio Padilla, 
went to Mexico City to speak directly with the federal authorities. Ten 
long months after the squatters had initially invaded, federal troops 
were sent to Guadalupe Valley to force them off the land. The appeal 
was effective, but not for long. 

A few short months after they were forced to leave, the squatters 
returned in full force. In another attempt to drive the Molokans from 
the Valley, they destroyed fields and fences, looted crops and threat- 
ened the Molokans with bodily harm. To ensure the second invasion 
was successful. Governor Maldonado expropriated nearly 300 acres of 
land to the squatters who began calling themselves the Francisco 
Zarco group. The formation of this group and the expropriation of the 
Molokan land by the Governor took a toll on the Molokans. However, 
they regrouped for one final petition. Seventeen Russian property 
owners, with seven Mexican property owners, hired lawyer Padilla 
again to revoke the expropriation. The result was a federal court order 
demanding the Governor to review the decree. The order was submit- 
ted with the petition of the landowners on March 3, 1960. There was 
no progress on the resolution as of August 1962. Repeated inquiries by 
the Molokans, and authorities, were not acknowledged. 

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT 

Mr. President of the Republic, to you, Professor Roberto Barrios, and 
to you, Mr. Attorney General of the Republic, to denounce the absence 
of absolute guarantees for the agricultural work that prevails in Guada- 
lupe Valley, Municipality of Ensenada. Only federal justice, founded on 
clear principles that the General Constitution of the Republic estab- 



186 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

lishes and sustained the right and patriotic criteria that in agrarian 
matters you have expressed repeatedly, can return to us the security and 
tranquility that we need to again be efficient factors of progressive agri- 
culture in Baja California. 

We expressly petition you for the following: 

FIRST — That the Governor of the State be persuaded that, before 
deciding on the provisional endowment of our lands to the members of 
the Francisco Zarco group, he study and take into account the docu- 
mentation and facts we have presented relative to the petition. 

SECOND — That the Expropriation Decree by which 107 hect- 
ares* were expropriated from us to create the village of Francisco Zarco 
be dissolved immediately. 

THIRD — That illegal application of the "Law of Idle Lands" be 
stopped in the state. 

FOURTH — That it be declared conclusively that (somewhere) 
among the thousands of hectares of virgin and unproductive territory 
that exist the full length of the peninsula (is) the place where the people 
of Braulio Maldonado, Jacinto Lopez, Eusebio Rojo Gomez and Eligio 
Esquivel Mendez are going to show how effectively they wish to dedi- 
cate themselves "to the fruitful and creative work" and stop sowing 
agitation and insecurity in the Mexican agricultural scene, with the end 
pursued ostensibly political and certainly not patriotic. 
Ensenada, Baja California, August 1962. 
Lie. Juan Ignacio Padilla 

Basilio Mohoff 
John A. Samarin 
* actually 300 acres 

Meanw^hile, the Zarco group and the newly elected Governor 
continued to push for the land. Governor Elegio Esquival Mendez 
who followed in Maldonado's footsteps, suggested and initiated the 
squatters to start their own petitions. These actions caused further 
legal confusion. Esquivel knew the federal government would take a 
long time to straighten the matter out. In October 1962, before the 
last Russian left the Valley, the government had recognized the squat- 
ter's rights and the governor dedicated the village to Francisco Zarco. 
The valley no longer bore the name Colonia Russia de Guadalupe, 
but was renamed in Zarco's name. 

Before this time, an influx of squatters had settled on the Molo- 
kan's land and the Russians had consulted the authorities. The gov- 
ernment sent soldiers to drive the squatters off the land, much against 
their will. The squatters were loaded onto trucks and taken out of the 



The Parachuters 



187 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Molokans provided food and transportation to the national guard sent to pro- 
tect them from squatters. 

Valley. This was a harrowing experience for the Molokans also, as they 
had to provide food, lodging and transportation for the soldiers. They 
watched as the soldiers forced the screaming, protesting squatters onto 
the trucks. Being a peace-loving people, it was painful for the Molo- 
kans who were wary of guns and having armed soldiers in their colony. 
They feared somebody would be hurt. Once the squatters were driven 
out, there were a few months of relative quiet. In 1959, during Easter 
holidays (Paska), all the Molokans were in church and during the 
services, a group of squatters arrived outside the church. The group 
included Ensenada Mayor David Ojeda, his bodyguards, some Molo- 
kans who left the faith, and hundreds of squatters. They sent a repre- 
sentative inside the church who demanded to speak with the the 
Russian "president." The current president was Basilio Mohoff. The 
group wanted to take him with them to Ensenada but the Molokans 
knew this was wrong. The church members would not allow him to go 
and instead had a prayer. One woman was awakened by the Holy 
Spirit and told the congregation, "No, no, no! We cannot let them 
take this man from here. If they want, let them take all of us together." 
The Molokans then went outside, got on their knees, and prayed 
again. The group disappeared — including the mayor. The following 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of George Mohoff 

Billy, Eddie, George Jr. , Sarah, Ulasha, Nydia, and Lucy Mohof by shelter of a 
squatter after the first invasion, August 1958. 

day, the Molokans went to Ensenada to see their lawyer to explain 
what happened. The lawyer kept Basilio in his office and went to 
obtain a court restraining order for the mayor. The mayor and his 
followers wanted to take Mohoff because he was fighting to keep squat- 
ters from taking the land. 

Again squatters hung bearded effigies, threatened the Russians 
with bodily harm and said they would burn their homes. In July 1958, 
when this second infiltration began, it seemed there was no end. 
Squatters were brought in by truck, in groups of 50 to 100. They 
settled on the pasture land or on alfalfa crops. They often chose a time 
when the family that owned the land was away on business or family 
matters. They would learn this information from Molokan informers 
who left the faith and had close ties to the governor. The squatters 
believed the governor's claims that the Russians had not really pur- 
chased the land in the first place; they weren't using the land; they 
were not Mexican and therefore could not own Mexican land; why 
don't they go back to Russia "where they belong." 

After years of court batde, it was decided the papers giving the 
Molokans land title were legal. Furthermore, some Molokans were 
Mexican citizens and their children were born on Mexican soil. That 
they were of Russian descent, did not make them any less Mexican — 



The Parachuters 189 

legally. This should have been the end of the problem, but the decision 
was not enforced until 1961. During the summer several additional 
truckloads of squatters arrived and the Molokans protested to the po- 
lice. The authorities said they should allow the squatters to "harvest" 
the Molokan's corn crops for them before they drove them out. Sol- 
diers were eventually stationed on the land to prevent further influx of 
squatters, but those that were already there, remained untouched. 
The Molokans were in dire straits. 

Although the Molokans had dug wells and planted crops which 
improved the property, land value was very low. When selling the 
land, they were unable to get back the full value they had put into it. 
In addition, not only were the squatters taking up necessary land, but 
they were stealing crops from the land. They stole alfalfa for their 
horses and cattle, and grapes, tomatoes and fruit for themselves. In 
the summer of 1959, a cow belonging to a Russian had wandered into 
the area inhabited by squatters. The animal did no damage, but the 
squatters "cownapped" it and demanded $25 dollars for its release. 
Back then, $25 (or 300 pesos) was not an easy sum to come by. The 
man was forced to pay to get his own cow off his own land. Further- 
more, the Molokans were in relative physical and psychological dan- 
ger from the squatters. The squatters would shout insults over 
microphones and threaten to kill them. There were no violent inci- 
dents, but this was because the Molokans did not provoke them. The 
Russians tended to be philosophical and spiritual and say, ". . . it's all 
in the hands of God." 

There was a prophecy by Savelee E. Bebaeff about 1920, when 
he through the Holy Spirit he tied a red bandana around his forehead, 
took a scythe in hand and walked from one end of the colony to the 
other. He was swinging the scythe as he walked, as if cutting hay, and 
crying out, "In this manner we shall be cut down by the locust." He 
told us the locust will swoop upon the valley and devour everything in 
their path. He urged the Molokan people to leave and told them bad 
times were coming. Those who remained would suffer. Many of the 
colonists who watched him walk through the colony thought he was 
making a fool of himself. 

Many of the Molokans felt perhaps this was the time to leave and 
returned to America. However, it was more difficult than ever to 
move. One had to apply for a visa and often it took months to wait 
while the quota numbers were considered. During the 1930s and 
1940s many left the Valley. Then, in 1958, the colonists woke up one 
morning, they were greeted by the sight of "locust" in the orchards 



190 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Vasilli M. Tolmasoff 

Maria S., Jenny P. and Sabielie Y. Bibayeff (who prophesied about the locust). 

behind their homes. The Mexican squatters had set up their shanty 
town during the night, and were living off the harvest of the Molo- 
kans. Indeed the area was invaded — as if by locust. 

The years that followed were very difficult and the hardships suf- 
fered at the hands of the squatters were many. By the mercies and 
grace of God, they survived although many had to abandon their 
possessions and land. Where there once was a thriving God-fearing 
colony of people, now there was only desolation. 

Indifference of behalf of the government ultimately sealed the 
fate of the once prosperous colony. If one were to visit Guadalupe 
today, there would perhaps be evidence of the Molokans, but not one 
street or village holds their name. Sixty years of history disappeared at 
the hands of the squatters and the governors Maldonado and Esquivel. 



The Parachuters 191 

Still, the church is there and most the furnishing and dishes re- 
main. The Bible is gone. The church is unlocked but amazingly no- 
body has vandalized the property which may demonstrate a respect for 
Jesus Christ, the Lord. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE 



MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM J. MOHOFF 



Our young brotherhood in Los Angeles requested a visit to the 
Guadalupe Valley, led by Bill I. Nazaroff. They wanted to see their 
relatives that were buried there. It was in their hearts to visit the 
cemetery and fence the area so the grounds were not damaged and 
place markers on the grave sites. They then held a pominkee (prayer) 
for all that were buried there. They remembered everyone by name, 
including the elders who had led their grandparents and parents from 
Russia to America. 

Some more young people in Los Angeles had a desire to visit 
Guadalupe and see where their ancestors lived. Ivan A. Samarin, who 
was one of the two that remained in Mexico, with his sons, showed a 
group of young people where their ancestors lived. They saw every- 
thing, and the group returned to America. Several months passed 
from the visit when Samarin with his wife Manya decided to visit 
relatives in Los Angeles. Enroute to Los Angeles, on the freeway in the 
San Clemente area, Ivan was killed in a car accident. His wife was 
badly injured and died one year later. Some six months after that 
incident. Bill D. Filatoff, the other remaining resident of Guadalupe, 
died suddenly. We buried him in America. 

Only then was the prophecy of Bill Z. Vidinoff opened up. He 
prophesied nearly 60 years ago that in the Guadalupe Valley, there 
would not remain any dust or ashes of the Christian Molokan faith. 
Those two men were the last of the Molokans in Guadalupe. To this 
day, there remains no name of our Spiritual Christian Molokan faith. 

Another prophecy concerned all the people who believe and ac- 
cept the Spiritual Molokan religion regardless of where they live. Dur- 



Memoirs of William J. Mohoff 193 

ing one of the drought years in 1912, many of the elders from America 
came to the Guadalupe Valley to pray to God to end the drought. One 
prayer was held on the field and during the service Gregory I. Mohoff 
was moved by the Holy Spirit. He picked up several small pegs and 
one large one. He drove the little pegs into the ground in a circle and 
placed the large one in the center. He then tied twine around each 
little peg and secured it to the large peg. He jerked the twine and all 
the little pegs fell toward the center — to the large peg. He said the 
large peg is Los Angeles and the little pegs are the areas that the 
Molokan people scattered to. No matter where they go, he said, they 
must return to the center which was Los Angeles. In Los Angeles all 
the Molokan believers must hold a preemeereneeya (forgiveness 
prayer) and maleneeya and then the Lord will open up for us the way 
we are to go. Those who have scattered to different states and coun- 
tries went by their own will, not the will of God. They will all have to 
return to Los Angeles. When they heed to the Lord's will and calling, 
forgive one another, ask God's forgiveness and with a clean heart ask 
God's mercy and guidance — only then will he show us what is the path 
for pahot (journey). There was another prophecy when I was married 
with a family. It was during another drought, it was winter and there 
was still no rain. Also, there was a very dangerous and strong influ- 
enza epidemic in the Guadalupe Valley and throughout Mexico. 

We had our first death in the colony as a result of this virus. A 
small child, Michael A. Metchikoff had died. During the funeral a 
prophet was moved by the Holy Spirit and told us that very hard times 
are upon us and much prayer was required by us. Our elders believed 
and accepted the message from the prophet. They conferred and 
agreed to make a prayer and declare a three day fast for deliverance 
from these hard times of drought and illness. During the services a 
prophet moved by the Holy Spirit said we must go through the entire 
colony, from house to house, and pray with each family in their home 
and ask God for his protection through this crisis. We were not to 
refuse any person who wanted the prayer in their home. We were not 
to judge or refuse anyone regardless of their nationality. If a Mexican 
wanted the prayer in their home, we were to enter their home and 
pray, too. This the elders believed, accepted and fulfilled. 

After the three day fast and prayer was complete, the next morn- 
ing we all went to church, prayed, and a group of us set out to pray in 
each home. We started at one end of the colony and went from house 
to house, praying. We sang as we walked down the road from one 



194 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

place to the next and when we came to the Mexican homes, some 
came to their gates with their children and asked us with such sincerity 
in their hearts for us to pray for them. We went into their homes and 
prayed for them and their children. 

When passing through the entire colony one prophet said now we 
are to go further out, wherever our Molokans are living, and pray in 
their homes, too. We began our ride to San Antonio, it was already 
night time. We prayed throughout the night in each home. When we 
finished, we went on to Ensenada to every home of our people and 
prayed with whoever else invited us to pray for them. We did not 
refuse anybody. One of the last prayers was given at a Molokan home 
in Ensenada located upon a hill. As we finished the prayer we saw 
clouds gathering on the horizon. As we made our return trip to 
Guadalupe, we stopped in San Marcos at the home of Michael M. 
Tolmasoff who had accompanied us. We prayed in his house and set 
out again for home. As we rode, the rain came down and drenched us. 
As we approached the church, we could see the remaining congrega- 
tion waiting for us outside the church in the pouring rain. Every man, 
woman and child was there and we were greeted with joyous tears. 
Together, we prayed with sincerity thanking the Lord. The Lord heard 
our supplications and prayers for the rain to end the drought, water 
our fields and protect us from the flu epidemic that was upon the land. 
Throughout the colony, and for all we had prayed for, not one person 
died from the flu, after the loss of the first child. We received news 
from Ensenada that numerous people died in the epidemic. 



CHAPTER THIRTY 



CONCLUSION 



There was a prophecy that took many years to come into fulfill- 
ment in the Guadalupe Valley. When the migration to Mexico began, 
the people did not come all at once. A family at a time arrived in the 
Valley. Of those who came and purchased the land together, there were 
100 families. 

I, Basilio Mohoff, recall this prophecy as occurring about 1910. 

A group of people came from the Los Angeles churches to visit 
the people in the colony and see how we were living. We greeted our 
guests in church and after the service an elder. Bill T. Tolmasoff in- 
vited the guests and entire congregation to his house for prayer and 
dinner. During the prayer, a prophet from Los Angeles was moved by 
the Holy Spirit. Bill Z. Vidinoff prophesied, "After a long number of 
years, here in this Guadalupe Valley, will not even remain the dust nor 
ashes of our spiritual Christian Molokan faith of our brotherhood." 
He went outside, got an axe and placed a mark above the door on the 
frame of the top ledge. This was a symbol, or witness, for us to re- 
member the prophecy. 

The prophecy stayed in our minds. We wondered how this could 
be, not the dust nor the ashes of the faith would remain in the Valley? 
During the following few years we began to have economic hardships. 
About six years had passed since the prophecy and 20 families packed 
up and left the colony for Arizona. The remaining families resumed 
their lives, busy with the additional work and projects. Although we 
needed our children to help at home with the growing work, we were 
compelled to send them to America to live with relatives, and work 
there. They would eventually marry and remain living in America. As 



196 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

each son and daughter came of age, we sent them to America, those 
that married in Guadalupe, stayed there. 

Another 10 years passed and we began to see better economic 
times and improved living conditions. One Sunday at church a 
prophet moved by the Holy Spirit said for each person to lay a clean 
handkerchief on the table. Each of us placed one on the table and the 
prophet asked the preacher to pray. After the prayer, the handkerchiefs 
were tied into an oozle (package). The elders placed the oozle in the 
hands of Dunia M. Buckroff for safe-keeping, since there was nowhere 
to keep it in the church. She kept them safely at her home and when 
she passed away, the responsibility was passed to Dunia V. Buckroff, 
the wife of our minister. 

The colonists decided to build a new church because the old 
building was deteriorating. Now that we were all a little better off, we 
were able to build a new prayer house. We moved into the new church 
and placed the handkerchief oozle inside the church. At one of the 
services, a prophet, moved by the Holy Spirit, went to one of the 
sisters, kissed her and told her to bring out the handkerchief oozle, 
place it on the table and open it. The prophet asked the minister to say 
a prayer and after the prayer the prophet told each person in the 
church to take one handkerchief. Each of us went and took one. After 
we had all taken one, more than half were left. When we had placed 
the handkerchiefs in the oozle at the old church there were many of us. 
Now, few of us were left, most had already left the Valley. 

The prophet instructed us to pick the handkerchief up by the 
corner and hold it like a flag. We did as we were told. He asked the 
minister to pray for our departure — we would be leaving soon. After 
the prayer we followed the minister out of the church and walked down 
the street a block or two, then returned to the church. The minister 
prayed again and the prophet said to place the handkerchiefs back 
onto the table and tie the oozle and return it to its place for safe- 
keeping until we needed it again. He said the example has been given 
and shown you to leave, now watch and observe the time. He then told 
us to sing. Without anyone starting the song, the entire church began 
to sing Vhit, vhit (Song 512). We sang and as time went on, we did 
not even realize how each one was leaving. As each family left, the 
handkerchief was removed from the oozle. Soon, there were only two 
left. Those families did not leave for different reasons. 



Conclusion 



197 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Church in 1959 

Taken before the new church as the last Russian colonists decide at a meeting 
what to do about the squatters. The decision was that it was time to leave. Pete 
Nazaroff (4th row, from left), Vasilli Filatoff, Vasilli Nazaroff, Vasilli Mohoff, Anna 
Filatoff, Juan Samarin, Alexsay K. Samarin (3rd row), baby Katia Dalgoff, Tania 
Samarin, Luba Samarin, Vera Pivovaroff, Tasnia Buckroff, baby Vera, Mania Sa- 
marin, Alexsay Pivovaroff, Egor Lisizin, Alexsay Dalgoff, Vasilli Y. Bibayeff, Alexsay 
M. Dalgoff, Pete Buckroff, Dunia Babeshoff (2nd row), Dunia Dalgoff, Ulasha Mo- 
hoff, Dunia Buckroff, Eugenia Lisizin, Masha Dalgoff, Fenia Bibayeff, Manya and 
Tanya Nazaroff, Mania P. Nazaroff, baby Johnny and Lucy Mohoff, Gabriel Dalgoff 
(1st row), Mike Samarin, Moises Filatoff, Tania Dalgoff, Isaiy I. Mohoff, Billy Mo- 
hoff, Daniel Filatoff, Daniel Mechikoff, Isac Buckroff, Moises Mechikoff, Vasilli M. 
Buckroff. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE 



RETROSPECT 



The Russian Molokans lived in Mexico for more than 65 years 
and can be called pioneers. Mexico accepted the Molokans as they did 
other immigrants and there they had the religious freedom denied 
them in their homeland Russia. The greatest obstacle for the Molo- 
kans was not knowing the Spanish language. They tried to live near 




Courtesy of U.M.C.A. 

Pavil S. Babishoff family. Alex, Bill, George, John, Tanya, (John's wife) Mary 
G., Hania ¥., June G. (Bill's wife), Pavil S. Babeshoff, Jim, John A. Morozoff, Tanya 
Morozoff and Mary Morozoff. 



In Retrospect 



199 



one another so the children could stay with their parents and not lose 
their beliefs and customs. In general, the families were very large. 
Soon, the Molokan community formed in Guadalupe, primarily along 
one long street. The street was always filled with Molokan children 
playing and having fun together. Sunday afternoon church services 
were held for both adults and the youth and the colony lived in peace- 
ful friendship. Eventually, the young married and the new generation 
of Molokans were born in Mexico. They grew up speaking Spanish 
but were careful not to forget their native tongue. The parents were 
afraid if their children spoke only Spanish, they would lose contact 
with their families and tradition. They tried to keep the children in 
their fold and teach them the Molokan faith. The young people were 
encouraged to gather in the church to meet one another, spend time 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

Nastiya S. Mohoff, husband Vasilli G., and sons Alexsay and Moisei are some 
of the first settlers. 



200 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 




Courtesy of Dunia Dalgoff 

Babeshoff family Simion (back row), Julia, Paulina, Juan, Mary Alejandro 
(front row), Moises, Esvriya F. (mother), Audrey, Timofey S. (father), and Nora 
Babishoff 

together singing and reading scriptures and marry into the faith. The 
goal of the Molokan parents was to keep their people together and 
preserve the youth, the faith and the Molokan ways. The fruits of 
these elders remain today in their grandchildren and great grandchil- 
dren many of whom continue to speak the Russian language and have 
close ties with one another. 

Since leaving Mexico in 1947, my wife Hazel and I have trav- 
elled back to Guadalupe having close ties and fond memories. We 
personally will never forget the Mexican people we grew up with, their 
kindness, and the love they showed us. The intense emotional bonds I 
am trying to convey is that I love Guadalupe, I love Mexico and what 
it stood for. Our home there was a warm rustic colony. The unpaved 
streets were lined with eucalyptus trees and just out of our village were 
pristine creeks and our beautiful, productive farms. This is a picture 
that is difficult to describe. 

In June of 1991, the Mexican government opened a museum in 
memory of the Russian colony of Guadalupe and those Molokans that 
lived there. The governor of Baja California, Attorney Ernesto Ruffo, 
cut the ribbon officially opening The Community Museum. In his 
speech, and I quote only a portion, he said, "We recognize the devo- 



In Retrospect 201 

tion and hard work the Molokans did for this nation. Whom without 
knowing the language, worked this virgin land into productive and 
progressive farms of which we are now partaking the fruits." (from the 
videotape Colonia Russa de Guadalupe) 

If our people were left undisturbed, I strongly believe the history, 
the expression of all that was moving as though magical, driven by the 
divine hand of God, we would have been lead to a paradise that shaped 
our happiness, and fulfilling all that our elders set out to accomplish. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 



George Mohoff was born in the Russian colony of Guadalupe 
Valley, Mexico in November, 1924. He was raised with his four broth- 
ers and three sisters on his parent's farm riding and roping wild Mus- 
tangs and caring for more than 200 head of cattle. He did this while 
schooling at the Enrique C. Rebsamen primary school until he was 
12. He came to the United States in June of 1947. That year he 
married Hazel T. Babeshoff (originally of La Mission, Baja Califor- 
nia) and together they have four children: Nadia, Sarah, Jim and 
George Jr. George and Hazel make their home in Montebello, Cali- 
fornia. Their parents were some of the original Molokan settlers in the 
Guadalupe Valley and they were some of the last to leave the valley. 




Courtesy of Mohoff family 

House built in 1910 by Ivan G. Mohoff that was remodeled in 1935 by Vasilli I. 
Mohoff to have running water and a gas stove; home #14 on map index. 



REFERENCES 



Mohoff, Basilio J. , personal interview 

Deway, John Sanford, 1966 

The Colonia Russia of Guadalupe Valley 

California State University of Los Angeles 

Schmieder, Oscar, 1928 

The Russian colony of Guadalupe Valley 

University of California, Berkley 

Young, Pauline, 1927 

Family Organization of the Molokans 

Mohoff, Pete, personal interview 
index of Colonia Guadalupe map 

Tolmasoff, Basilio M., personal interview 

index La Mission; purchase of San Marcos ranch 

Klistoff, Nicholai D., personal interview 
index and purchase of San Antonio ranch 

Hillinger, Charles, April 12, 1959, p. 10 
Los Angeles Times — squatters invasion 

Padilla, Juan Ignacio, attorney, August 1962 
Deway, John Sanford, CSLA 
seizure of land in Guadalupe 

Story, S., professor of anthropology 
California State University of Fresno 
Geography, material culture and economy 



References 205 



Maggiano, Ron 

University of San Diego, History department 

Russian colony of Ramona, Santa Maria valley 

San Diego Union 
August 26, 1905 
September 5, 1905 
July 12-16, 1958 
August 8, 1958 
July 11, 1959 

Dunn, Ethel; Berkley, 1967 

Russian sectarianism, review 26. 128. 140 

Abakumoff, Katherine, personal interview 
entertainment, laundry, etc 

Haprov, Frances, personal interview 
church outfits 

Kornoff, Vera, personal interview 

Mohoff, Issai, personal interview, July 10, 1958 
squatter land grab, fiscal harm to Molokans 



APPENDIX A 



Property owners 1938 to 1947: 
Abakumoff, Emiliano 
Abakumoff, Miguel 
Afonin, Catalina 
Babishoff, Agafia P. 
Babishoff, Jim 
Babishoff, Pablo 
Bibayoff, Agafia K. 
Bibayoff, Agafia P. 
Bibayoff, Gregory 
Bukroff, Basilio B. 
Bukroff, Basilio M. 
Dalgoff, Alejandro A. 
Dalgoff, Alejandro M. 
Evdokimoff, Maria 
Kachirsky, Alejandro 
Kachirsky, Pablo 
Michikoff, Maria S. 
Michikoff, Miguel 
Michikoff, Daniel and Moises 
Michikoff, Tanya 
Mohoff, Basilio J. 
Nazaroff, Basilio 
Nazaroff, Gabriel 
Nazaroff, Juan 
Tolmasoff, Basilio 



Nazaroff, Moises 
Nazaroff, Nicolas 
Patsekayeff, Susan 
Pivavoroff, Alejandro 
Pivavoroff, Basilio 
Pivavoroff, Juan 
Rogoff, Basilio B. 
Rogoff, David 
Rogoff, Juan B. 
Rogoff, Marfa A. 
Rogoff, Moises J. 
Samaduroff, Alejandro 
Samaduroff, Basilio 
Samaduroff, Juan 
Samaduroff, Moises 
Samaduroff, Moises J. 
Samarin, Alejandro K. 
Samarin, Juan 
Samarin, Agafia 
Samarin, Estela M. 
Samarin, Gregory 
Samarin, Juan K. 
Samarin, Moises 
Samarin, Pablo 





Appendix A 




207 


PROPERTY 


CULTIVABLE 


GRAZING 


TOTAL 


OWNERS 


PARCELS 


PARCELS 


PARCELS 


Afonin, K. 


8 


2 


10 


Abakumoff, E. 


5 





5 


Babishoff, P 


5 




6 


Babishoff, J. 


5 




6 


Babishoff, A 


4 




5 


Bibayeff, A.K. 


4 




5 


Bibayeff, A.C. 


4 




5 


Babishoff, G 


4 




5 


Buckroff, B.M. 


8 




10 


Buckroff, B. Ma. 


5 




6 


Buckroff, B.B. 


4 




5 


Buckroff, M. 


1 




1 


Dalgoff, A. A. 


2 




2 


Dalgoff, A.M. 


6 




7 


Evdikimoff, M. 


5 




6 


Kachirsky, P. 


4 




5 


Kachirsky, A. 


1 





1 


Mechikoff, M. 


4 




5 


Mechikoff, M. 


4 




5 


Mohoff, B. 


20 




27 


Nazaroff, A. 


8 




10 


Nazaroff, I. 


3 




4 


Nazaroff, M. 


15 




17 


Patsekayeff, S. 


2 




3 


Pivovaroff, A. 


3 




4 


Pivovaroff, J. 


5 




5 


Rogoff, M. 


4 




5 


Rogoff, B.B. 


4 




5 


Rogoff, B.M. 


1 





1 


Rogoff, M.J. 


5 




6 


Rogoff, B.R 


4 




5 


Samarin, G. 


10 




12 


Samarin, P. 


5 




6 


Samarin, J. 


5 




6 


Samarin, I. 


3 




4 


Samarin, A. 


15 


2 


17 


Samarin, J. A. 


15 





15 


Samarin, A. P. 


4 


1 


5 



208 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Samaduroff, M. 


12 


3 


15 


Samaduroff, J. 


10 


2 


12 


Samaduroff, M.J. 


15 


2 


17 


Tolmasoff, B. 


4 


1 


5 


TOTALS 


255 


51 


306 


Amount of land owned: 


3,060 Hs 


2,351 Hs 


5,411 



APPENDIX B 



Residents of Guadalupe Colony and 
Antonio, Ensenada; 1905 TO 1965: 

Emiliyan B. Abakumoff 
Katsya E. Abakumoff 
Ghanya E. Abakumoff 
Ivan B. Abakumoff 
John I. Abakumoff 
Vasilli I. Abakumoff 
Manya I. Abakumoff 
Katsya I. Abakumoff 
Mathriona A. Afonin 
Masha I. Afonin 
Manya I. Afonin 
Vasilli I. Afonin 
Daniel I. Afonin 
Grigori D. Afonin 
Onya G. Afonin 
Mikhail G. Afonin 
Manya G. Afonin 
Grigori G. Afonin 
Simiyon S. Babeshoff 
Grigori S. Babeshoff 
Aryisha G. Babeshoff 
Lusha G. Babeshoff 
Vasilli G. Babeshoff 
Ghanya G. Babeshoff 



vicinity of Punta Banda, San 

Parasha T. Abakumoff 
Onya E. Abakumoff 
Manya E. Abakumoff 
Onya M. Abakumoff 
Mothvhey I. Abakumoff 
Jim I. Abakumoff 
Stella I. Abakumoff 
Daniel M. Afonin 
Ivan D. Afonin 
Tanya I. Afonin 
Grigori I. Afonin 
Alexsay I. Afonin 
Moisay I. Afonin 
Katsya P. Afonin 
Ivan G. Afonin 
Jacob G. Afonin 
Ghanya G. Afonin 
Onya I. Afonin 
Ariyna P. Babeshoff 
Ghanya K. Babeshoff 
Dunyasha G. Babeshoff 
Ivan G. Babeshoff 
Manya G. Babeshoff 
Vera G. Babeshoff 



210 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Onya G. Babeshoff 
Pavil S. Babeshoff 
Ivan P. Babeshoff 
Tanya Pavlovna Babeshoff 
Alexsay P. Babeshoff 
Sara V. Babeshoff 
Timofey S. Babeshoff 
Vasilli T. Babeshoff 
Dunya T. Babeshoff 
Nora T. Babeshoff 
Simiyon T. Babeshoff 
Moisey T. Babeshoff 
Savelyie Y. Bibayeff 
Ivan S. Bibayeff 
Ghanya K. Bibayeff 
Timofey A. Bibayeff 
Alexsay A. Bibayeff 
tanya Y. Bibayeff 
Onya V. Bibayeff 
Masha B. Bibayeff 
Fenya K. Bibayeff 
Moisay V. Bibayeff 
Ghanya P. Bibayeff 
Julia V. Bibayeff 
Ivan V. Bibayeff 
Santiago V. Bibayeff 
David T. Bibayeff 
Simiyon T. Bibayeff 
Motvey V. Buckroff 
Dunya M. Buckroff 
Vasilli M. Buckroff 
Motvey V. Buckroff 
Fenya V. Buckroff 
Ghanya V. Buckroff 
Polya M. Buckroff 
Nickolai M. Buckroff 
Manya M. Buckroff 
Vasilli V Buckroff 
Mikhial V. Buckroff 
Moisey V. Buckroff 
Ghanya I. Buckroff 



Jack Bogroff 
Masha G. Babeshoff 
Vasilli P Babeshoff 
Grigori P. Babeshoff 
Timofey P. Babeshoff 
Manya T. Babeshoff 
Esvhyrya F. Babeshoff 
Poliya T. Babeshoff 
Manya T. Babeshoff 
Ivan T. Babeshoff 
Alexsay T. Babeshoff 
Andray T. Babeshoff 
Marieya S. Bibayeff 
Alexsay S. Bibayeff 
Ivan A. Bibayeff 
Gregory A. Bibayeff 
Vasilli Y. Bibayeff 
Ivan V. Bibayeff 
Feyodor Y Bibayeff 
Vasilli Y Bibayeff 
Nicholi V. Bibayeff 
Vasilli S. Bibayeff 
Polya V Bibayeff 
Manya V. Bibayeff 
Issaey, V. Bibayeff 
Polya A. Bibayeff 
Maxim T. Bibayeff 
Gabriel T. Bibayeff 
Mariya S. Buckroff 
Mikhail M. Buckroff 
Dunya V. Buckroff 
Nicholai V. Buckroff 
Onya V Buckroff 
Mikhial V Buckroff 
Jim M. Buckroff 
Gabriel M. Buckroff 
Julia M. Buckroff 
Manya M. Buckroff 
Nora V. Buckroff 
Ivan V. Buckroff 
Manya I. Buckroff 



Appendix B 



211 



Maxim I. Buckroff 
Andrey I. Buckroff 
Vasilli M. Buckroff 
Manya V. Buckroff 
lyon V. Buckroff 
Tanya V. Buckroff 
Vera P. Buckroff 
Nastiya A. Buckroff 
Masha P. Dalgoff 
Dunya A. Dalgoff 
Masha A. Dalgoff 
Dunya M. Dalgoff 
Pavil A. Dalgoff 
Gabriel R Dalgoff 
Agnes P. Dalgoff 
Ivan Dvartsoff 
Onya V. Evdokimoff 
Afanasyie A. Evdokimoff 
Tanya A. Evdokimoff 
Fenya A. Evdokimoff 
Gabriel A. Evdokimoff 
Vasilli D. Filatoff 
Moisay V. Filatoff 
Alexsay V. Filatoff 
Alexsay Gooseff 
Alexsay Hamutoff 
Alexay Halopoff 
Vasilli A. Halopoff 
Fuyodor A. Halopoff 
Fatsay T. Kachirsky 
Pavil F. Kachirsky 
Manya P. Kachirsky 
Petro P. Kachirsky 
Vasilli P. Kachirsky 
Katsya V. Kachirsky 
Pavil V Kachirsky 
Vera V. Kachirsky 
Julia I. Kachirsky 
Onya V. Kachirsky 
Mikhayil A. Kacirsky 
Manya A. Kachirsky 



Alexsay I. Buckroff 
Vasilli I. Buckroff 
Oolyasha P. Buckroff 
Gregory V. Buckroff 
Petro V Buckroff 
Petro P. Buckroff 
Ivan V. Buckroff 
Alexsay M. Dalgoff 
Lyoxsie A. Dalgoff 
Ghanya A. Dalgoff 
Alexsay A. Dalgoff 
Mikhial A. Dalgoff 
Katsya V. Dalgoff 
Fenya P. Dalgoff 
Dunya R Dalgoff 
Vasilli A. Evdokimoff 
Petro Evseyaff 
Masha G. Evdokimoff 
Ghanya A. Evdokimoff 
Ivan A. Evkokimoff 
Moisay A. Evdokimoff 
Onya A. Filatoff 
Daniel V Filatoff 
Onya V. Filatoff 
Ivan S. Gooseff 
Ivan S. Homotoff 
Fenya A. Halopoff 
Ivan A. Halopoff 
Mikhial A. Halopoff 
Ghanya I. Kachirsky 
Fenya A. Kachirsky 
Onya P. Kachirsky 
Timofey P. Kachirsky 
Manya V. Kachirsky 
Ooliyana V. Kachirsky 
Manya V. Kachirsky 
Moisay P. Kachirsky 
Alexsay P. Kachirsky 
Gabriel A. Kachirsky 
Ivan A. Kachirsky 
Vasilie Kachirsky 



212 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Sassana I. Kachirsky 
Juliya V. Kachirsky 
Vasilie V. Kachirsky 
Ivan K. Karnaujoff 
Grigoryie I. Kornoff 
Alexsay I. Kornoff 
Tanya A. Kornoff 
Dunya A. Kornoff 
Andrey A. Kornoff 
Luba A. Kornoff 
Fenya A. Kornoff 
Ivan A. Kornoff 
Parasha T. Kobzeff 
Tanya A. Kobzeff 
Esvriya A. Kobzeff 
Manya A. Kobzeff 
Vasilli A. Kobzeff 
OoHyana A. Kobzeff 
Petro A. Kobzeff 
Vasilh A. Kotoff 
Alexsay V. Kotoff 
Mikhial V. Kotoff 
Ghanya V. Kotoff 
Maxim M. Klistoff 
Alexsay G. Makshanoff 
Ivan A. Makshanoff 
Vasilli A. Makshanoff 
Afanasyie M. Michikoff 
Mikhial A. Michikoff 
Manya M. Michikoff 
Petro M. Michikoff 
Ivan M. Michikoff 
Vasilli M. Michikoff 
Moisay M. Michikoff 
Daniel M. Michikoff 
Ivan A. Michikoff 
Sara I. Michikoff 
Manya I. Michikoff 
Vasilli I. Michikoff 
Gregory I. Michikoff 
Koolina Melnikoff 



Ivan V. Kachirsky 
Onya V. Kachirsky 
Jacob V. Kachirsky 
Vera I. Karnaujoff 
Onya I. Kornoff 
Dunya T. Kornoff 
Vera A. Kornoff 
Parasha A. Kornoff 
Manya A. Kornoff 
Onya A. Kornoff 
Katsya A. Kornoff 
Alexsay V. Kobzeff 
Ivan A. Kobzeff 
Katsya A. Kobzeff 
Dunya A. Kobzeff 
Timofey A. Kobzeff 
Effim A. Kobzeff 
Vera A. Kobzeff 
Onya I. Kobzeff 
Darunya V. Kotoff 
Morrie V. Kotoff 
Manya V. Kotoff 
Vera V. Kotoff 
Aksiniya G. Makshanoff 
Loxie G. Makshanoff 
Motvay A. Makshanoff 
Onya A. Makshanoff 
Annooshka F. Michikoff 
Tanya P Michikoff 
Dunya M. Michikoff 
Timofey M. Michikoff 
Pavil M. Michikoff 
Nora M. Michikoff 
Tanya V. Michikoff 
Moisay M. Michikoff 
Manya V. Michikoff 
Nora I. Michikoff 
Tanya I. Michikoff 
Timofey I. Michikoff 
Emilyan M. Melnikoff 
Andrey I. Mohoff 



Appendix B 



213 



Gregory I. Mohoff 
Mikhail G. Mohoff 
Ivan M. Mohoff 
Timofey M. Mohoff 
Nastiya I. Mohoff 
Onya I. Mohoff 
Alexsay I. Mohoff 
Ivan I. Mohoff 
Vasilli I. Mohoff 
Onya V. Mohoff 
Gregory V. Mohoff 
Matronya G. Mohoff 
Daniel I. Mohoff 
Isaey V. Mohoff 
Vasilli G. Mohoff 
Sasha V. Mohoff 
Manya V. Mohoff 
Alexsay V. Mohoff 
Manya A. Mohoff 
Paskooniya M. Morozoff 
Timofey F. Morozoff 
Masha Morozoff 
Ivan V. Morozoff 
Tanya V. Morozoff 
Ghanya A. Morozoff 
Manya A. Morozoff 
Ivan A. Morozoff 
Ghanya I. Nazaroff 
Maxim G. Nazaroff 
Fenya G. Nazaroff 
Moisay G. Nazaroff 
David M. Nazaroff 
Petro M. Nazaroff 
Vasilli M. Nazaroff 
Manya V. Nazaroff 
Ivan I. Nazaroff 
Andrey I. Nazaroff 
Tanya I. Nazaroff 
Alexsay I. Nazaroff 
Esvriya I. Nazaroff 
Parasha D. Nazaroff 



Tanya A. Mohoff 
Variya L. Mohoff 
Onya M. Mohoff 
Ivan G. Mohoff 
Esvriya I. Mohoff 
Gregory I. Mohoff 
Katsya I. Mohoff 
Moisay I. Mohoff 
Oolyasha T Mohoff 
Petro V. Mohoff 
Ivan V. Mohoff 
Gabriel I. Mohoff 
Vasilli I. Mohoff 
Lyukeriya V. Mohoff 
Nastiya S. Mohoff 
Katsya V. Mohoff 
Moisay V. Mohoff 
Manya I. Mohoff 
Fiyador V. Morozoff 
Stenya F. Morozoff 
Vasilli F. Morozoff 
Nickolai V. Morozoff 
Fenya V. Morozoff 
Alexsay F. Morozoff 
Timofey A. Morozoff 
Tanya A. Morozoff 
Gabriel I. Nazaroff 
Polya G. Nazaroff 
Lusha G. Nazaroff 
Ghanya G. Nazaroff 
Manya P. Nazaroff 
Gabriel M. Nazaroff 
Ghanya M. Nazaroff 
Tanya A. Nazaroff 
Jacob V. Nazaroff 
Ghanya F. Nazaroff 
Ivan I. Nazaroff 
Nickolai I. Nazaroff 
Onya I. Nazaroff 
Gregory I. Nazaroff 
Vera G. Nazaroff 



214 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



David G. Nazaroff 
Manya V. Nazaroff 
Isaey V. Nazaroff 
Pavil Novikoff 
Annooshka M. Pavloff 
Vasilli G. Pivovaroff 
Ivan V. Pivovaroff 
Ivan I. Pivovaroff 
Gabriel I. Pivovaroff 
Andrey I. Pivovaroff 
Alex say V. Pivovaroff 
Gabriel A. Pivovaroff 
Vera I. Pivovaroff 
Ivan G. Pivovaroff 
Parasha V. Patapoff 
Polya G. Patapoff 
Koolina M. Popoff 
Mariya I. Podsekayeff 
Onya Pradin 
Shoora F. Pradin 
Nastiya I. Rogoff 
Pavil D. Rogoff 
Manya D. Rogoff 
Ivan P. Rogoff 
Ivan I. Rogoff 
Motvey I. Rogoff 
David I. Rogoff 
Luba I. Rogoff 
Moisie I. Rogoff 
Ghanya M. Rogoff 
Vasilli R Rogoff 
Ivan V. Rogoff 
Manya I. Rogoff 
Ghanya V. Rogoff 
Petro V. Rogoff 
Nickolai V. Rogoff 
Luba N. Rogoff 
Nadya N. Rogoff 
Mikhail R Rogoff 
Timofey M. Rogoff 
Vasilli M. Rogoff 



Vasilli I. Nazaroff 
Vasilli V. Nazaroff 
Gabriel V. Nazaroff 
Radiyon S. Pavloff 
Dunya R. Pavloff 
Annooshka I. Pivovaroff 
Ghanya I. Pivovaroff 
Onya I. Pivovaroff 
Alexsay I. Pivovaroff 
Jacob I. Pivovaroff 
Dunya S. Pivovaroff 
Gabriel Y. Pivovaroff 
Jacob G. Pivovaroff 
Vasilli K. Patapoff 
Vasilli V. Patapoff 
Egor S. Popoff 
Ivan P. Podsekayeff 
Famma Pradin 
Victor F. Pradin 
David P Rogoff 
Ivan D. Rogoff 
Simiyon D. Rogoff 
Rakhiliya D. Rogoff 
Tanya M. Rogoff 
Pavil I. Rogoff 
Alexsay I. Rogoff 
Ooliyaniya I. Rogoff 
Sasha I. Rogoff 
Julia V. Rogoff 
Tanya M. Rogoff 
Matrionya A. Rogoff 
Vasilli V. Rogoff 
Nora V. Rogoff 
Katsya V. Rogoff 
Esvriya A. Rogoff 
Manya Y. Rogoff 
Gabriel N. Rogoff 
Daniel N. Rogoff 
Marffa A. Rogoff 
Andrey M. Rogoff 
Fenya M. Rogoff 



Appendix B 



215 



Manya V. Rogoff 
Mikhial V. Rogoff 
Ivan M. Rogoff 
Gregory I. Rogoff 
Ivan R. Rudametkin 
Karp S. Samarin 
Vasilli K. Samarin 
Ivan V. Samarin 
Dunya V. Samarin 
Moisie V. Samarin 
Ivan K. Samarin 
Tanya I. Samarin 
Alexsay K. Samarin 
Sasana A. Samarin 
Manya A. Samarin 
Ivan A. Samarin 
Alexsay I. Samarin 
Dunya I. Samarin 
Alexsay I. G. Samarin 
Ivan A. Samarin 
Timofey A. Samarin 
Tanya I. Samarin 
Ivan T Samarin 
Gregory T Samarin 
Radiyon G. Samarin 
Onya G. Samarin 
Moisay G. Samarin 
Ivan G. Samarin 
Alexsay I. Samarin 
Jacob T. Samarin 
Ivan Y. Samarin 
Onya D. Samarin 
Jacob T. Samarin 
Pavil T Samarin 
Vasilli R Samarin 
Nura R Samarin 
Tanya A. Samarin 
Sara A. Samarin 
Alexsay A. Samarin 
Ghanya G. Samarin 
Vasilli I. Samarin 



Gabriel V. Rogoff 
Timofey V. Rogoff 
Fenya A. Rogoff 
Vera I. Rogoff 
Mariya I. Rudametkin 
Lusha R Samarin 
Ghanya Y. Samarin 
Timofey V. Samarin 
Tanya V. Samarin 
Pavil V. Samarin 
Ghanya A. Samarin 
Lusha I. Samarin 
Tanya I. Samarin 
Vasilli A. Samarin 
Moisie A. Samarin 
Manya A. Samarin 
Luba I. Samarin 
Mikhial I. Samarin 
Masha I. Samarin 
Vasilli A. Samarin 
Timofey M. Samarin 
Vasilli T Samarin 
Fyudor T Samarin 
Masha I. Samarin 
Petro G. Samarin 
Esvriya G. Samarin 
Timofey G. Samarin 
Stenya A. Samarin 
Daniel I. Samarin 
Stenya A. Samarin 
Timofey Y. Samarin 
David T Samarin 
Nickolai T. Samarin 
Masha I. Samarin 
Alexsay P. Samarin 
Audrey T Samarin 
Manya A. Samarin 
Dunya A. Samarin 
Ivan G. Samarin 
Pavil I. Samarin 
Moisay I. Samarin 



216 



The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Mikhial I. Samarin 
Julia I. Samarin 
Manya I. Samarin 
Gabriel I. Samarin 
Dunya P. Samaduroff 
Ghanya S. Samaduroff 
Nastiya I. Samaduroff 
lyon I. Samaduroff 
Lusha A. Samaduroff 
Gregory I. Samaduroff 
Sasha G. Samaduroff 
Akssiniya V. Samaduroff 
Onya A. Samaduroff 
Moisay I. Samaduroff 
Ooliyana M. Samaduroff 
Petro M. Samaduroff 
Moisay P. Samaduroff 
Pavil M. Samaduroff 
Ivan M. Samaduroff 
Vasilli M. Samaduroff 
Nadya V. Samaduroff 
Nickolai V. Samaduroff 
Peatra P. Samaduroff 
Moisay A. Samaduroff 
Esther A. Samaduroff 
Sonya A. Samaduroff 
Nickolai T. Tolmasoff 
Ivan V. Tolmasoff 
Pavil V. Tolmasoff 
Tanya Tolmasoff 
Masha I. Tolmasoff 
Tanya Tolmasoff 
Alexsay A. Tolmasoff 
Ghanya A. Tolmasoff 
Nastiya V. Tolmasoff 
Ghanya V. Tolmasoff 
Gregory V. Tolmasoff 
Mikhial M. Tolmasoff 
Timofey M. Tolmasoff 
Alexsay M. Tolmasoff 
Ivan M. Tolmasoff 



Nastiya I. Samarin 
Vera I. Samarin 
Ivan I. Samarin 
Pavil I. Samaduroff 
Timofey P. Samaduroff 
Ivan P. Samaduroff 
Pavil I. Samaduroff 
Ivan I. Samaduroff 
Manya I. Samaduroff 
Vasilli I. Samaduroff 
Jacob V. Samaduroff 
Alexsay I. Samaduroff 
Vera A. Samaduroff 
Manya I. Samaduroff 
Daniel M. Samaduroff 
Fenya M. Samaduroff 
Tanya D. Samaduroff 
Jacob M. Samaduroff 
David M. Samaduroff 
Vera V. Samaduroff 
Luba V. Samaduroff 
Audrey M. Samaduroff 
Audrey A. Samaduroff 
Alexsay A. Samaduroff 
Tanya A. Samaduroff 
Vasilli T. Tolmasoff 
Masha P. Tolmasoff 
Dunya Tolmasoff 
Timofey V. Tolmasoff 
Alexsay V. Tolmasoff 
Fyudor V. Tolmasoff 
Ivan N. Tolmasoff 
Vasilli G. Tolmasoff 
Fyudor V. Tolmasoff 
Fenya V. Tolmasoff 
Vasilli V. Tolmasoff 
Ivan V. Tolmasoff 
Dunya S. Tolmasoff 
Petro M. Tolmasoff 
Vera M. Tolmasoff 
Manya D. Tolmasoff 



Appendix B 



217 



David I. Tolmasoff 
Mikhial I. Tolmasoff 
Onya I. Tolmasoff 
Ooliyasha G. Tolmasoff 
Gregory V. Tolmasoff 



Ivan I. Tolmasoff 
Manya I. Tolmasoff 
Vasilli M. Tolmasoff 
Manya V. Tolmasoff 
Vasilli V Tolmasoff 



Residents of La Mission: 

Vasilli S. Babeshoff 
Mikhial V. Babeshoff 
Ghanya V. Babeshoff 
Timofey V. Babeshoff 
Manya T Babeshoff 
Pavil T Babeshoff 
Onya T. Babeshoff 
Moises T Babeshoff 
Lookyan Bolotin 
Alexsay F. Kotoff 
Mikhial Orloff 



Koolina T Babeshoff 
Ivan V. Babeshoff 
Dunya V. Babeshoff 
Dunya P. Babeshoff 
Julia T Babeshoff 
Vera T Babeshoff 
Ghanya T Babeshoff 
Vasilli Bolderoff 
Vasilli Evdokimoff 
Alexsay Mackshanoff 



APPENDIX C 



Residents of San Antonio and 

David I. Agalsoff 
Dunya D. Agalsoff 
Esther D. Agalsoff 
Nickolai D. Agalsoff 
John N. Agalsoff 
David N. Agalsoff 
Manya N. Agalsoff 
Mikhial N. Agalsoff 
Katya M. Agalsoff 
John M. Agalsoff 
Tanya M. Agalsoff 
Dunya M. Agalsoff 
Manya A. Agalsoff 
John N. Agalsoff 
Ivan P. Dolmatoff 
Isaey I. Dolmatoff 
Vasilli I. Dolmatoff 
Moisei I. Dolmatoff 
Vera I. Dolmatoff 
Isaey I. Dolmatoff 
Ghanya I. Dolmatoff 
Ghanya A. Filatoff 
Ghanya A. Filatoff 
Pavil D. Filatoff 
Ivan D. Filatoff 



Ensenada, Mexico; 1909-1965: 

Aryina K. Agalsoff 
Manya D. Agalsoff 
Morris D. Agalsoff 
Masha I, Agalsoff 
Esther N. Agalsoff 
Jim N. Agalsoff 
Jack N. Agalsoff 
Masha L. Agalsoff 
Ghanya M. Agalsoff 
Alexsay M. Agalsoff 
Manya M. Agalsoff 
Nickolai M. Agalsoff 
Nickolai N. Agalsoff 
Lucy N. Agalsoff 
Sasana D. Dolmatoff 
Tanya A. Dolmatoff 
Jack I. Dolmatoff 
Alexsay I. Dolmatoff 
Manya I. Dolmatoff 
Manya I. Dolmatoff 
Andrey S. Filatoff 
David S. Filatoff 
Andrey D. Filatoff 
Dunya D. Filatoff 
Raquel I. Filatoff 



Appendix C 



219 



David I. Filatoff 
Ghavronya N. Klistoff 
Nastiya I. Klistoff 
Nastiya A. Klistoff 
Ivan M. Kapsoff 
Gregory I. Kapsoff 
Lusha G. Kapsoff 
Petro K. Karnookhoff 
Fenya I. Medveyiff 
Nickolai V. Medveyiff 
Tanya S. Novikoff 
Jacob D. Novikoff 
Raquel D. Novikoff 
Katsya I. Pivovaroff 
Vera V. Pivovaroff 
Polya V. Rudametkin 
Onya P. Rudametkin 
Andrey I. Rudametkin 
Alexsay I. Rudametkin 
Petro I. Rudametkin 



David S. Klistoff 
Andrey D. Klistoff 
Tanya A. Klistoff 
Ghanya A. Klistoff 
Ghanya S. Kapsoff 
Fenya M. Kapsoff 
Ghanya G. Kapsoff 
Vasilli M. Medveyiff 
Vera V. Medveyiff 
David A. Novikoff 
Alexsay D. Novikoff 
lyon D. Novikoff 
Vasilli I. Pivovaroff 
Ivan V. Pivovaroff 
Timofey I. Rudametkin 
Vasilli I. Rudametkin 
Masha I. Rudametkin 
Sasha I. Rudametkin 
Matrusha K. Rudaametkin 
Masha A. Rudametkin 



APPENDIX D 



Residents of Ensenada, Mexico: 

Timofey E. Abakumoff 
Ivan E. Abakumoff 
Tanya E. Abakumoff 
Sergio A. Filatoff 
Elena S. Filatoff 
David A. Filatoff 
Anita A. Filatoff 
Petro D. Filatoff 
David P. Filatoff 
Nastiya P. Filatoff 
Paranya R. Chapluk 
Onya I. Klistoff 
David S. Klistoff 
Ghanya S. Klistoff 
Manya M. Klistoff 
Mikhial N. Klistoff 
Alexsay D. Klistoff 
Jacob A. Klistoff 
Stenya A. Klistoff 
Mariya R. Pobloff 
Petro R. Pobloff 
Pavil R. Pobloff 
Radivon P. Pobloff 
Onya P Pobloff 
Gregory P. Pobloff 



Mikhial E. Abakumoff 
Julia E. Abakumoff 
Mike V. Bibayeff 
Polya G. Filatoff 
Andrey A. Filatoff 
Raquel A. Filatoff 
Esther A. Filatoff 
Vera S. Filatoff 
Pavil P. Filatoff 
Isaey Chapluk 
Simiyon D. Klistoff 
George S. Klistoff 
Onya S. Klistoff 
Nickolai D. Klistoff 
John N. Klistoff 
David N. Klistoff 
Onya Y. Klistoff 
Alexsay A. Klistoff 
Nora A. Klistoff 
Alejandro R. Pobloff 
Stephon R. Pobloff 
Vera P Pobloff 
Sara R Pobloff 
Isaey R Pobloff 
Daniel P Pobloff 



Appendix D 



221 



Motvey R. Pobloff 
Manya M. Pobloff 
Mariya M. Pobloff 
Motvey M. Pobloff 
Marffa I. Pivovaroff 
Lusha I. Pivovaroff 
Nastiya Popoff 
Emma V. Popoff 
Tanya V. Popoff 
Nastiya P. Novikoff 
Soffiya Kozloff 
Nickolai S. Kozloff 
Ivan S. Kotkoff 
Nickolai I. Kotkoff 
Gregory I. Kotkoff 
Pavil I. Kotkoff 
Ghanya Rudametkin 
Ivan M. Rudametkin 
Alexsay M. Rudametkin 
Ivan I. Rudametkin 
Onya I. Rudametkin 
John I. Rudametkin 
Manya I. Rudametkin 
Jim I. Rudametkin 
Alexsay I. Rudametkin 
John A. Rudametkin 
Gregory A. Rudametkin 
Fenya A. Rudametkin 
Dunya A. Rudametkin 
Simiyon P. Samarin 
Tanya P. Samarin 
Alexsay I. Samarin 
Ivan I. Samarin 
Vera I. Samarin 
Sara A. Samarin 
Feyodor I. Samarin 



Nora V. Pobloff 
Katsya M. Pobloff 
Onya M. Pobloff 
Vasilli M. Pobloff 
Tanya I. Pivovaroff 
Vasilli Popoff 
Vera V Popoff 
Mariya V. Popoff 
Simiyon D. Novikoff 
Simyon Kozloff 
Tanya S. Kozloff 
Sabelo Ligutoff 
Martha K. Kotkoff 
Mikhial I. Kotkoff 
Vera I. Kotkoff 
Moisay K. Rudametkin 
Nickolai M. Rudametkin 
Philip M. Rudametkin 
Manya M. Rudametkin 
Fenya I. Rudametkin 
Fenya I. Rudametkin 
Iffim I. Rudametkin 
Vera I. Rudametkin 
George I. Rudametkin 
Dunya P. Rudametkin 
Alexsay A. Rudametkin 
Manya A. Rudametkin 
Tanya A. Rudametkin 
Ivan P. Samarin 
Timofey P. Samarin 
Sara P. Samarin 
Vasilli I. Samarin 
Mikhial I. Samarin 
Pavil I. Samarin 
Pavil P. Samarin 
Nora A. Samarin 



Resident families of Punta Banda 

Alexsay A. Desatoff 
Jacob A. Desatoff 



Ivan A. Desatoff 
Moisie A. Desatoff 



222 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 

Pavil T. Kalpakoff Alexsay T. Kalpakoff 

VasiUi T. Kalpakoff Ivan M. Kapsoff 

Ivan M. Kobzeff Pavil Novikoff 
Ivan P. Samaduroff 



APPENDIX E 



Those buried in the Molokan cemetary in Guadalupe, Mexico: 

Agalsoff 

Mikhial Lavontivna Alexsay M. 

David 



Afonin 



Daniel M. 


Matriona A. 


Gregory D. 


Jacob G. 






Babeshoff 






Simion S. 


Arina P. 


Masha G. 


Masha A. 


Vasilli S. 


Kulina 


Michael V. 


Ivan V. 


Timofey V. 


Julia J. 


Vera J. 


Ivan G. 


Bibayeff 






Savielie Y. 


Maria S. 


Alexsay S. 


Ivan S. 


Hania K. 


Hania P. 


John A. 


Alejandro A. 


Feodor Y. 


Masha B. 


Hania 


Tania J. 


Buckroff 






Motvey V. 


Maria S. 


Michael M 


Dunia M. 


Vasilli V. 


Moises V. 


Nicolas M. 







224 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Chaplok 



Parasha R. 






Dalgoff 






Alexsay M. 


Masha P. 




Dalmatoff 






Ivan I. 


Ivan 




Evdokimoff 






Afanasie A. 






Filatoff 






David S. 


Hania 


John D. 


Pavil D. 


Sergio A. 




Kachirsky 






Sasana I. 


Fenia S. 


Moises P. 


Julia I. 


Mania V. 




Kornoff 







Luba A. 



Kobzeff 



Mania A. 




Klistoff 




David S. 


Polya A. 


Maxim M. 




Makshanoff 




Aksinia G. 




Mohoff 




Gregory I. 
Mikhial G. 


Tania A. 
Vasilli G. 



Simion D. 



Andrey I. 
Nastiya I. 



Appendix E 



225 



Marozoff 
Feodor V. 

Mechikoff 

Afansasie F. 
Moises M. 

Melnikoff 
Emilian M. 

Potsikayeff 
Ivan P. 

Pivovaroff 

Vasilli G. 
Hania I. 

Pobloff 



Pascunia M. 



Onya F. 



Kulina I. 



Maria I. 



Anushka I. 



Alexsay F. 
Alexsay M. 



Gabriel A. 



Ridivon S. 


Anushka M. 




Popoff 






Eggor S. 


Kulina M. 




Nazaroff 






Ivan I. 


Alexsay I. 


Gabriel I. 


Rogoff 






David P. 


Ivan D. 


Pavil D. 


Vasilli R 


Matriona A. 


Juan V 


Ivan P 


Tanya M. 


Ivan I. 


Luba I. 


David I. 


Mikhial R 


Nicolai B. 


Maria J. 


Pedro B. 


Samarin 






Timofey M. 


Tanya I. 


Masha I. 


Jacob T. 


Stenya A. 


Juan J. 


Pavil T. 


Moises G. 


Karp S. 


Lusha P. 


Vasilli K. 


Moisei A. 


Alexsay K. 


Masha I. 





226 The Russian Colony of Guadalupe Molokans in Mexico 



Samaduroff 






Pavil I. 
Jack M. 


Dunia P. 
David M. 


Moisei P. 


Tolmasoff 






Mikhial M. 
Petro M. 


Dunia S. 
Gregory V. 


Jim M. 
Nicolai V. 



TOTAL: 131 PEOPLE